22 May 2018

Kenya: League Body Seeks Tribunal's Help

The simmering feud between Kenyan Premier League Limited and Football Kenya Federation Tuesday took an interesting turn, with the league body reporting the national federation to Sports Disputes Tribunal over a decision to call off Saturday's league match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

Through their lawyers Obura and Company Advocates, KPL on Tuesday filed a complaint at the Sports Dispute Tribunal accusing FKF of "interference with the running of the local league" by calling off Saturday's 'Mashemeji Derby' without proper consultation.

In the complaint, managers of Kenya's top-flight football league have also pointed out that the planned friendly match between Kenya and Swaziland on Friday, followed by another against Equatorial Guinea on Monday fall outside the Fifa window, and that FKF is acting in contravention of Fifa regulations by asking clubs to release players for national team duty.

KPL filed the complaint at noon Tuesday under a certificate of urgency, and the tribunal has promptly scheduled a hearing fir Wednesday afternoon in Nairobi pending determination of the matter.

"The case is already at the tribunal, and our lawyers are now working on serving the respondents. We shall know after tomorrow's hearing whether the derby will go on or not," KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda said on Tuesday.

This is the latest public spat between the two football bodies who have been pulling in different directions for more than a decade.

Gor, Leopards players in Stars camp as derby looms

The last time the two bodies were at the tribunal was early last year when they were at loggerheads regarding the number of teams to be included in the Kenyan top flight.

FKF eventually had its way, and the league was expanded to feature 18 teams up from 16.

Meanwhile, Gor and Leopards players on Tuesday reported to Harambee Stars camp with permission from their respective clubs.

Sources close to the clubs indicated that some club officials were coerced into releasing their players.

On Monday, Leopards indicated in a terse letter that the club would not release players for "funny friendlies which do not fall under Fifa calendar."

The club gave the players the green light to train with the national team

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