As expected, KPL chair Jack Oguda is insisting that the annoucement by FKF Chair Nick Mwendwa is void
Additional reporting from the Nation
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has dismissed an announcement by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa cancelling the current season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The league was earlier suspended in March after the government’s directive banning the use of public sporting facilities, inter-county travel, and dusk to dawn curfew, among other measures meant to control the spread of the deadly virus.
Mwendwa declared the league cancelled in a series of tweets on Thursday and declared title holders Gor Mahia the winners.
KPL have in turn declared that a decision on how or when the league will end can only be made by them.
“As we reluctantly take note of your communication regarding FKF’s decision to end the KPL 2019/20 season prematurely, we once again wish to reiterate our position on this matter which we stated before. It is still our insistence that any decision concerning the status and the fate of the league should be made by the Kenyan Premier League as we are the body mandated to run the Kenyan Premier League,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda wrote to FKF on Friday.
The letter further stated: “FKF’s decision to end the league, without consulting the Kenyan Premier League, contravenes various clauses in the FKF-KPL Agreement and the SDT Ruling on the FKF-KPL Agreement.
“The agreement is clear on the obligations of KPL and FKF in as far as management of the Kenyan Premier League is concerned and, therefore, KPL would like clarification on which organ within FKF’s structure met, deliberated, and made a decision regarding the status of the league.”
KPL also urged FKF to respect the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) recent ruling that ended the term of the federation’s National Executive Council (NEC).
“We seek to know this considering that the SDT Ruling of March 17, 2020, stated that the term of the FKF National Executive Committee (NEC) had ended. KPL is bound to that SDT Ruling and implementing any purported decisions emanating from unauthorised persons will amount to contempt of court. As a Law-abiding institution, KPL would like to avoid doing so,”
The Sports Dispute Tribunal indeed ruled that the FKF NEC’s mandate had lapsed and also called for the formation of a normalisation committee to run the affairs of the federation pending national elections
Oguda also posed: “FKF’s decision to end the league on the plain pretext that CAF asked for information regarding strategies put in place to ensure the conclusion of the KPL 2019-20 season reeks of malice. Would FKF have made that decision if CAF had not sought clarity?”
The league body said it was eager to end the current season once the coronavirus curve had been flattened in the country.
Oguda argued that it was still possible to finish the league by the end of July 2020.
He termed FKF’s declaration as “knee jerk reactions” that did not explore other avenues which would give teams a sporting chance.
Oguda said that a Governing Council decision on the best and most practical way forward would be decided once the Government lifted the ban on public gatherings including resuming matches.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa, however, insisted they followed the football rules on ending the league prematurely and the same applied to all the other top football club competitions in the country.
Accordingly, Nairobi City Stars, who were at the helm of the National Super League, have been promoted to the KPL while Chemelil Sugar has dropped to the second-tier competition.