The awaited kick-off of the 2022/2023 Kenya Premier League season is in limbo after the Sports Dispute Tribunal ruled that the just concluded season in “null and void”.
The ruling follows petition by League participants that faulted the government-appointed FKF Transition Committee for failing to recognise the existing FKF Judicial Bodies and Stand-in Committees.
The SDT sitting on Tuesday afternoon of 23rd August, 2022, ruled in favor of a petition (SDTSC NO: E 021 OF 2022) filed on May 19, 2022, challenging the FKF Transition Committee for unconstitutionally ignoring already existing FKF Judicial and Standing Bodies, and instead, appointing their own to oversea the rest of the season, thus, infringing on the right to fair administrative action.
The Sports Disputes Tribunal has declared The 2021/22 FKF Transition Committe Premier League declared null and void.
This is after the committee illegally appointed it's own judicial bodies.
No Relegation, no promotion. pic.twitter.com/pr3pW6in0b
— Geoffrey Mwamburi (@bekimwamburi) August 23, 2022
The Tribunal also ruled that the FKF Transition Committee’s appointment was to act as a replacement of the disbanded FKF Executive Committee and not its Judicial as well as the Standing Committees.
Additionally, the Tribunal ruled that their mandate was to ensure that they ran the affairs of the FKF as per its constitution and therefore running the league without Judicial bodies was unconstitutional, rendering the 2021/22 league season results are null and void.
As per the above ruling, there was no properly and legally organized league competition, a valid winner or loser, and as such no club stands either relegated or promoted.
The petition was filed by Migori Youth FC, Gusii FC, Dandora Love FC, Zoo FC, Kamungei United FC, Coastal Heroes FC, Mwatate United FC, Kisumu Allstars FC and Francis Ngira Okello vs FKF Transition Committee, with FKF Judicial Bodies and Standing Committee, Kariobangi Sharks FC, Vihiga United FC, Mathare United FC, Sofapaka FC later joining us as interested parties.
The FKF Caretaker Committee came into existence on 11th November 2021 with a six month-mandate to fix football in the country when the Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Amb. Amina Mohamed disbanded the Nick Mwendwa-led Football Kenya Federation.
The FKF Transition Committee’s tenure was again extetended by another three months. Those appointed in May 2022 consisted of:
Aaron Ringera – Chairperson
Maurice Oyugi – Vice-Chairperson
J. Masiga (Dr.)
On August 16, their mandate was against extended by one month to give the new government time to fix the issue.
— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) August 16, 2022
The ruling deals a blow to winners of various categories of the Kenyan leagues as well as the teams promoted while bringing joy to the teams that had been relegated.
Tusker Football Club had been declared the FKF Premier League 2021/2022 winners while AP Bomet had won the second tier National Super League (NSL), an automatic qualification to the Kenya Premier League.
Bungoma Superstars 1-0 Kisumu Hotstars. Samwel Wekesa's 57th minute volley from the box enough to edit the scoreline. And that marks the end of our FKF Division One League 2022 season. Safe journey to our brothers. pic.twitter.com/Q1apGgmpun
— BungomaSuperstarsFC (@BungomaSStarsFC) July 27, 2022
On the other hand, Mayenje Superstars and Kona Rangers FC will have to remain in the Division One Zone B League despite securing promotion to NSL.
Liberty Sports Academy FC, Administration Police, Gor Mahia Youth FC, Kamungei United FC and Kisumu Hot Stars FC which had been relegated from Division One 2021/2022 Season, will now survive the chopping knife.
It’s not clear whether the Tribunal’s ruling will also be challenged in the courts and delay the kick off of the new season.