FKF moves to court to challenge Sports Dispute Tribunal in contempt case


FOOTBALL FKF moves to court to challenge Sports Dispute Tribunal in contempt case

Festus Chuma 11:56 - 28.02.2024

FKF is seeking court intervention to overturn an SDT ruling, fearing a High Court decision could disrupt the federation's authority and trigger a football governance crisis.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has taken decisive legal action by approaching the High Court in an effort to preempt a ruling scheduled for Tuesday 5 March. 

This move comes as part of a broader attempt to challenge an anticipated decision that could impact the leadership structure and governance of the federation significantly.

In a legal filing at the Kiambu Law Courts earlier this week, FKF, alongside its president Nick Mwendwa, 45, General Secretary Barry Otieno, and 11 other officials, have laid out several requests before the court. 

“The ex-parte applicants are aggrieved with the competence and validity of the respondent’s decision in its entirety and have sought the intervention of the High Court to set it aside in the exercise of its judicial review jurisdiction," reads part of the statement from the court documents.

Among these, they seek to overturn a previous judgment by the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) which, in 2021, declared that the removal of these FKF officials from their posts rendered them incapable of representing or acting on behalf of the federation in any capacity.

The heart of the controversy stems from a case initiated by County Football Associations (CFA), who have argued for the ousting of the current FKF leadership on grounds of contempt, asserting their tenure to be illegitimate. 

The SDT, on March 17, 2020, had already issued a verdict stating the illegality of the current FKF Executive Committee's position and called for the establishment of a Normalisation Committee to assume FKF's responsibilities, including the organization of new elections.

CFA's grievances extend to demanding that the current FKF leadership be prohibited from managing the country's football affairs, alleging their occupancy of office to be unlawful. 

The FKF's legal representation, MJM Law LLP advocates, has articulated concerns that the impending High Court decision might jeopardize their clients' rights to fulfill their roles within the federation. 

Moreover, the CA has requested a permanent injunction to prevent FKF officials from conducting the federation's business, including access to offices and bank accounts.

This legal tussle is set against a backdrop of a January 23, 2024, directive that scheduled the hearing of an application from February 10, 2023, for February 5, 2024, leading up to the now-contested ruling on March 5, 2024. 

FKF's legal team harbors apprehensions that the outcome could potentially thrust Kenyan football back into turmoil, reminiscent of the chaos that led to a FIFA suspension previously.

The ongoing dispute between CFA and FKF officials over the governance of football at the grassroots level has been a prolonged battle for supremacy further complicated by political interventions.

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