Kenya: Match-Fixing - Zoo FC to Appeal FIFA Expulsion

Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Zoo FC say they will appeal the decision by Fifa to relegate the club from the top tier league after being found culpable of match-fixing.

Fifa on Tuesday ended the Kericho-based side's fiive year stay in the top league, demoting them to Division One league next season after being found guilty of participating in the vice.

However, the club issued a statement protesting their innocence and asserting that they will appeal the decision at the Fifa appeals committee.

The club will also be seeking orders to restrain execution of Fifa's decision so as to continue with their league matches until the matter is heard and determined. The league resumes on May 12.

"We have since prepared our Appeal to the FIFA Appeals Committee under article 56 FIFA Disciplinary Code which we shall soon file and are confident our appeal shall be successful. We shall also seek a stay of execution of the said decision that will allow us to continue participating in the league," said the statement.

The club also promised to use all the legal avenues to ensure the decision they termed unfair, is reversed, including lodging any further or other appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

"Zoo leadership will within the next 10 days write to the football governing body to furnish them with the evidence which led to the execution of relegation ruling.

"We will in the next ten (10) days write to them to provide further particulars of their decision which we believe is based on the misguided legal concept of "strict liability," it added.

Two league matches that attracted the relegation of coach Herman Iswekha's side were ties against Sofapaka on January 27, 2019 and Wazito on March 1 2020, both at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos.

The club noted that Fifa Integrity Department had investigated the issue and concluded that no individual/ individuals was found guilty of match-fixing based on the evidence which was gathered. It therefore wondered how the decision to relegated them was reached.

The statement assured the players and technical bench that there is no call for alarm or panicking as it believes justice will eventually prevail.

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