KPL demands federation pays for lost revenue

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Chairman of Sports Disputes Tribunal John Ohaga. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Kenyan Premier League Limited has called on the Sports Disputes Tribunal to make a determination on costs after assessment due to contractual breach by Football Kenya Federation after the cancellation of KPL matches.

 In what is turning out to be  a full-blown tussle between the two organisations, KPL now wants the SDT to sanction the FKF for failure to abide by rules in a two-hour virtual hearing chaired by John Ohaga yesterday.

Counsel for KPL Amos Otieno told the panel that the cancellation of Kenyan Premier League and subsequent match broadcasts was a flawed decision which was made to spite the KPL management.

 “Everybody knows the contract between KPL and FKF was valid as at the time the league was rudely interrupted.

My clients were in charge of running the league and therefore the unprecedented move by FKF president (Nick Mwendwa) was in poor taste and unfortunate.

The losses to KPL must be redeemed and it does not help to chest thump in this issue through sections of the media.

As far as we are concerned the MOU between the two parties was valid and yet the respondents totally abused their powers to declare issues around promotion and relegation without engaging all stakeholders.”

 He added: “In any case, such utterances can only be effected by the executive committee members of the KPL who are very capable,” stated Otieno. 

He also urged the court to validate and measure the extent of punitive and general damages following the suspension of broadcasting matches by the Kenya Television Network as a result of the league being prematurely stopped thus loss of extra revenue for the league body.

 In a response to the application by the petitioners, lead counsel for the respondents Prof Tom Ojienda urged the tribunal to throw away the petition the decision was brought about by the effects of the Covid 19-pandemic.

 “We had to effect the Force Majeure rule under the FKF Regulations Article 26 because the pandemic was a natural catastrophe that affected sports in the country,” said Prof Ojienda. 

“Due to the government intervention and directive, clearly even football would have been affected.

League procession was obviously frustrated by the force majeure but it had to be done.

The decision to award Gor Mahia the ticket to continental football was done correctly given tight timelines in place. 

“At the same time, this petition was not effective in addressing specifically how the league cancellation affected KPL yet the onus of managing football in the country is with FKF.

Any damages being sought do not lie with the federation since they did not decide for the virus to come,” headded.

The ruling will be made on September 15.

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