Kenya Premier League now says Football Kenya Federation Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno is being used by former President Nick Mwendwa to frustrate the league administrators in contempt of an order by the Sports Disputes Tribunal that Mwendwa’s term in office was over.
Mwendwa, in a tweet Thursday morning, said the federation had terminated the season and declared Gor Mahia the champions.
But KPL, through CEO Jack Oguda has hit out at the move, saying the league will not be party to contempt proceedings that have already been instituted by parties to petition 3 of 2020, which led to the ruling (delivered 17 March 2020) that sent Mwendwa and his National Executive Committee packing.
“For avoidance of doubt this is to bring to your attention that KPL will not be party to such decisions that is contemptuous with the SDT ruling delivered on the of 17th March, 2020 and sustained by the SDT further directions issued on 24th April, 2020,” said Oguda in the first of two statements to Otieno.
“Reference is made to social media reports appearing with regards to a determination that FKF has eventually declared the KPL 2019/20 season cancelled and declared Gor Mahia FC champions that is in disregard to the contents of the letter dated 30th April, 2020 sent and delivered via email at 11:47am.
“KPL who has the legal mandate to run the league would wish to be furnished with the minutes of the meeting which deliberated upon the matter in question with the subsequent resolution already conveyed to the public by FKF.
“Your kind and quick response will enable KPL Governing Council to convene and internalize the decision so far communicated.”
Here is Jack Oguda’s letter to Barry Otieno, declaring the federation has no right to declare K’Ogallo the champions:
KPL 2019/20 status vis-a-vis Covid-19 pandemic
Reference is made to media reports in which you are quoted as stating that the 2019/20 season of the Kenyan Premier League will be cancelled and FKF rules will be used to determine the winner.
As per the letter from CAF to the Federation CAF made an enquiry about the current situation of your National League/National Cup [ranking, number of pending matches, etc.] as well as the strategies you intend to apply to finalize those competitions be it through completion or annulment this is in order for CAF to chart a way forward for it unfinished competitions for this season and to plan for the new season schedule.
We noted your alleged comments with great concern considering that it was also reported you allegedly stated that the domestic cup will be played to the end because, “all the teams in the FKF Betway Cup in the competitions have worked hard to reach where they are and it will be unfair to cancel the same,” as you were quoted.
The lack of consistency in the Federation’s stand on the fate the two competitions implies; a selective application of the rules by FKF, the selective interpretation by FKF of CAF’s letter to the Federation, disregard by FKF of the hard work put in by KPL teams to reach where they are in the current KPL 2019/20 standings, amounts to breach of the KPL mandate on running of the league through interfering with the management of its affairs.
That said, KPL wishes to state that it is strongly against annulling the league at this stage without first exploring other avenues which will see the season played to the end.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not unique to just Kenya and, therefore, we see no urgency to have the league ended by May 15.
We have been in contact with other leagues which are under the jurisdiction of CAF and none is contemplating annulling their league season for now.
Further to that, these leagues and others in other parts of the world are not under pressure from their Federations and Confederations to end their season prematurely since even CAF is yet to complete in CAF competitions for this year.
As you may be aware FIFA convened a meeting with the stakeholders this week to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the International Match Calendar which will directly affect CAF and the FAs.
It is still too early to consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Kenyan football as case of force majeure. If in any case it were so, KPL would stand to be guided by Clause 9.1 of the FKF-KPL Agreement which provides direction on our obligations in the event of a force majeure.
Ending the league can only be considered as a solution if there has been such a directive from CAF to all its members for the Leagues to end by a certain date.
Since CAF has not concluded its own club competitions it therefore makes no sense at all to insinuate that CAF is rushing its members to end their seasons. Should such a directive come from CAF, KPL will exercise its mandate to give the way forward to FKF on the fate of the league after convening a Governing Council meeting.
In the meantime, it is our insistence that if FKF plans to have the domestic cup played until the very end, it is only logical that KPL teams are also given a sporting chance to determine their final fate in as far as the battle for the championship and relegation survival goes because they have also been working hard up until the pandemic hit us.
The FKF-KPL Agreement mandates KPL the right to run the league until September 24, 2020. There is still sufficient time till then to have the league played to the end barring any directives from CAF or the Government of Kenya which can deny teams a sporting chance to determine their fate.
KPL has confidence in the manner the Government of Kenya has contained the pandemic and we believe that if we wait for a few more weeks, to see if the Government will lift some of the restrictions which are preventing our league from resuming like the ban on gatherings and movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa.
As stipulated in Clause 2 (a) of the FKF-KPL Agreement, which states, “to ensure KPL as the owner thereof has the exclusive, full and unhindered right to manage the Kenyan Premier League in accordance with the rules and regulations of KPL, FKF, CAF and FIFA”, as well as Clause 2 (d) of the same agreement which states, “to ensure there is no undue interference by FKF or other officials or third parties with KPL management of the Kenyan Premier League”, FKF is obligated to respect KPL’s mandate of running the Kenyan Premier League.
Also, Clause 2 (g) of the same agreement refrains FKF from making media or public announcements and decisions on KPL’s behalf which infringe on the exclusive, full, and unhindered right of KPL to manage the Kenyan Premier League.
Finally, Clause 57 (v) of the SDT Ruling on the FKF-KPL Agreement reinforces these rights held by KPL and FKF’s obligation to respect and adhere to them.
Jack Oguda, CEO – Kenya Premier League