Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have called on wrangling Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards' officials to withdraw all matters before ordinary courts of law and instead refer their appeals through the federation's arbitration process .
"We have noted with concern the current state of affairs that have brought confusion in Leopards leadership, where some individuals have taken over the leadership of the club by obtaining court orders thus violating the FIFA statutes which clearly prohibits ordinary courts of law from ruling on football related disputes," said FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya.
"Football related disputes must be brought before an independent arbitration tribunal for solutions as courts do not have the jurisdiction to rule over such matters." "We have a local sports arbitration tribunal under the NOCK led by renowned lawyer Sharad Rao, which is recognised by all Kenya sports disciplines. But clubs must first bring any dispute to the FKF Independent Appeals Tribunal which will make a ruling," added Nyamweya. "As a federation, we will not allow coups against elected club officials and the federation will continue to recognise the elected Leopards officials."
Those trying to take over the reigns of the club through the courts must first go through the arbitration process. And in a rejoinder, former Leopards players, led by legendary Harambee Stars goalkeeper Mahmoud Abbas, want chairmanship aspirant Semi Aina, who has sought court order, to withdraw immediately for the sake of the club.
Peter Lichungu, who read the statement on behalf of the group, observed that Fifa statutes do not allow football disputes to be handled by regular courts and thus the court order puts the club at risk of being sanctioned by the world body. Instead, they demanded that Aina and his group forward their grievances to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for amicable solution. "We are impressed by Magelo's leadership. Through him, the team is performing well," said Lichungu. Others who attended the briefing included Tony Lidonde, Justus Muhati, Mike Amwayi, George Sunguti and Noah Wanyama.