Africa-Press – Kenya. The fate of the Kenyan Premier League season earlier set to start this weekend now hangs in the balance following an application filed by five teams at the Sports Disputes Tribunal on Wednesday.
The 2022 National Super League champions, APS Bomet headline the list of clubs that have moved to court to challenge the Football Kenya Federation’s contentious decision to annul the previous season and nullify the promotion and relegation of teams across all the tiers.
The side filed the case alongside last season’s Division One champions, Kona Rangers, who also feel aggrieved after being denied the chance to join the country’s second-tier league.
Other clubs enjoined in the case as interested parties include Dimba Patriots, Mayenje Santos and Kibera Soccer Women, who were all affected by the decision.
Following the petition, the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) issued a temporary restraining order to the local football governing body. “It is hereby ordered that the application be and is hereby certified as urgent,” the order read in part.
“That an interim order of injunction be and is hereby issued staying the decision by the FKF National Executive Committee on promotions and relegations, pending the full hearing and determination of this application.
“That the application is served upon the respondents immediately and in any event before the close of the day on Friday, November 18, 2022.”
In a meeting held last week, the FKF NEC canceled the promotion and relegation of teams in the KPL, NSL, and the Women’s Premier League.
Also affected were the men’s and women’s Division One league. Both APS Bomet and Kona Rangers are seeking a verdict to declare the resolutions issued by the FKF NEC on November 9 null and void.
SDT chairman John Ohaga said the case will be mentioned on November 22. “That the matter is listed for mention for directions on Tuesday 22nd November 2022 at 2:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams,” Ohaga stated.
Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba is also listed in the case. Bomet and Kona Rangers want the start date of their respective seasons to be postponed until the matter is heard and decided.
FKF released the schedule for the 2022-2023 KPL season earlier in the week. The development came barely hours after the national football governing body scrapped the previous season which was overseen by a government-appointed caretaker committee.
The new season is set to start on November 19 with eight matches scheduled to be played on that day.
APS Bomet and Fortune Sacco were promoted directly to the top tier after emerging as winners and runners-up in the preceding National Super League season.
But their celebration was short-lived after the FKF NEC sent them packing from the country’s top tier even before they had kicked a ball. APS Bomet coach Charles Odera said that any decision to exclude the team will be catastrophic to his players.
“It will be a big setback, especially considering that our players are already thinking about taking that big step,” Odera said.
“Such a move would also discourage our sponsors who have given so much to push us to this level,” he added.