By Agnes Amondi,
World football governing body FIFA on Wednesday overruled the decisions by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) to call off the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) election and ending the National Executive Committee (NEC) tenure.
The decision means that the current executive body, president and the NEC remains in office. It also declined to form a normalisation committee as requested by the Chairman of the SDT John Ohaga.
In a letter sent to FKF’s CEO Barry Otieno, FIFA says that the SDT lacks jurisdiction over FKF, as the latter subjected itself to the tribunal on its own initiative when they are not mandated to by its statutes. Thus the ruling has no legal effect whatsoever.
“We note that the SDT is not a national arbitration tribunal in the sense of FIFA circular 1010 dated 20 December 2005. Despite the aforementioned, the FKF surprisingly subjected to the SDT by its own initiative while it was not obliged to so do as per its Statutes,”
The statement signed by Chief Member Association Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba said.
It went on:
“This however does not entail that the SDT decisions are binding on FIFA when it comes to its prerogatives and remit for which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland has exclusive competence (cf. art. 57 and 58 of FIFA Statutes, 2019 edition),”
“Therefore, we wish to emphasize that the relevant SDT ruling has no legal effect on FIFA.”
More importantly, FIFA will meet with FKF, SDT, the Minister of Sport and other relevant stakeholders at a yet to be determined date to find a way forward.
“In this context and for the sake of peace, FIFA is ready to meet as soon as possible with the FKF, the SDT representative(s), the Minister of Sport and any other relevant stakeholders in order to find a way forward,
In this respect, should the world health situation not evolve positively by 6 April 2020, we shall contact you to explore other possibilities including a meeting by video conference,
“Pending this meeting and for the avoidance of any doubt, the current FKF Executive Committee members, including its President, shall remain in office.” It stated.
On March 17 Ohaga cancelled FKF repeat elections after it concluded that its eigibility criteria for the seat of the president was “set to lock out other candidates.”
Before that, the John Ohaga led committee found that the federation had complied on all other matters which it had requested last December when it first annulled its election.
Therefore, it asked the federation to communicate to FIFA the decision that proposed appointment of a Normalisation Committee to steer the nation’s football matters before a new office was duly elected.
FKF had approached the SDT for interpretation of the Sports Registrar’s threat to put the election on hold over issues surrounding to conforming to the Sports Act 2013.