Sports Disputes Tribunal rules against Kenyan Premier League application

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Gor Mahia players celebrate after winning the 2018/19 Kenyan Premier League title at the Machakos Stadium. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Kenyan Premier League Limited (KPL) yesterday suffered a blow after the Sports Disputes Tribunal ruled against an  application to demand for damages over alleged contract breach by Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

While reading his ruling virtually, SDT Chairman John Ohaga termed  the petition as lacking competence. 

In the ruling however, Ohaga declared that the first respondent (Nick Mwendwa) had no right in law to end the league and declare Gor Mahia the 2019/20 KPL champions, stating that was not within the federation’s mandate even though the issue was settled in the ruling as justifiable,  thus the status quo remains with K’Ogalo retaining the league champioship title. 

Ohaga stated that KPL Governing Council could declare league status as it was  its mandate.

Ohaga added that the petition was filed without proper authority and reprimanded the petitioners for not fully addressing themselves to the issue surrounding damage assessment. 

“Agreement and relationship between the two parties was not breached as per our conclusive evidence and therefore claims of damages needed proper clarity from the petitioners. 

The arguments should have been made out separate in a case format. Indeed it is up to the party to guide the specific dispute regarding damages and even this tribunal has in numerous occasions made it clear on establishment of breach by parties,” stated Ohaga.

On the face of it however, FKF has decidedly come out on top in the matter. 

Interested parties say  KPL CEO Jack Oguda did not consult the governing council before filing the case at the tribunal thus the petition twas  declared invalid.

In his response, Oguda says they respect the ruling but will seek a clear interpretation before determining way forward. 

“The tribunal also ruled that the FKF-KPL contract was that of agency nature and had to be respected by both sides. 

Ohaga fell short of declaring that FKF President Nick Mwendwa was separate from the organization he led and therefore not synonymous. 

“There are various provisions in the rules governing football management in the country.

The FKF president had no authority therefore to make the determination of cancelling the league. In this matter, the President is more or less a king without a crown.”

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