A day after the High Court in Nairobi directed the Football Kenya Federation declaring that the 2017 Kenyan Premier League Season be reverted to a 16 club league, the KPL has suspended matches involving Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt FC.
KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda said this takes effect immediately until an appeal made by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is heard and determined.
High Court judge Justice John Mativo on Thursday annulled FKF’s decision to increase the size of the Kenyan Premier League to 18 teams from 16. This in effect has left KPL with no alternative by to put on hold matches involving Zoo and Nakumatt.
“Our legal representatives have interpreted the ruling and the governing council made a decision to respect the ruling. We will have to await the decision by the Appeals Court because we have been made to understand FKF is headed there to appeal the high court decision,” said Oguda.
Nzoia United, Kariobangi Sharks were the other teams promoted from the lower league last season alongside Zoo and Nakumatt.
Former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya had lodged the petition at the High Court.
A statement from KPL later on Friday stated : “Following service of the High Court Ruling issued on Thursday, 21 September 2017 in the matter of, Petition No. 59 of 2017, Sports Tribunal between Sam Nyamweya (Petitioner) and Sports Dispute Tribunal (1st Respondent), Football Kenya Federation (2nd Respondent), and Kenyan Premier League (3rd Respondent), as well as the KPL Governing Council meeting held today, Friday, 22 September 2017, it is wished to be confirmed that in compliance to the court’s decision, Nakumatt Football Club and Zoo Football Club have been suspended from participating in the SportPesa Premier League.”
“Kenyan Premier League is committed to respecting the Rule of Law and the decision to suspend the two Clubs has been taken following review of article 28 (d) of the ruling received, which states, “A declaration be and is hereby issued that Kenyan Premier League shall have a maximum of 16 teams during the 2017 season, consisting of the fourteen (14) Kenyan Premier League teams which qualified for sporting merit on the field during the 2016 plus the two (2) highest ranked clubs at the end of the 2016 season in the Football Kenya Federation’s National Super League.”
FKF in a statement acknowledged receipt of the decision by Justice Mativo, declaring that the 2017 Kenyan Premier League Season be reverted to a 16 club league, following a petition launched by one Sam Nyamweya.
In the statement, KPL stated : “We wish to clarify that we shall be tendering our appeal at the Court of Appeal in due course in an effort aimed at protecting the sanctity of the sport.”
“The federation remains committed to its footballing mission and will not be distracted by the ongoing effort by a section of disgraced former Football Administrators, keen on suffocating the development of the game at all levels.”
“We shall also be providing an update to FIFA on the judicial development locally as we further seek to tap on their technical capacity in our forth coming Appeal Suit.”