By Senior Writer
Veteran soccer administrator Sam Nyamweya has sued the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) leadership over its irregular expansion of the Kenya Premier League (KPL) and the haphazard relegation and promotion of teams.
Nyamweya petitioned the High Court to slap an injunction against the FKF from interfering with the management of the KPL and to respect the mutual agreement signed by the two parties restricting 16 teams to participate in the annual soccer bonanza.
Nyamweya, who retired from the FKF presidency last year to usher the new team led by Nick Mwendwa, protested that violation of the binding agreement was likely to provoke a ban on Kenya’s participation in the sport by the world soccer governing body FIFA. Kenya may miss out on bidding to host the Continental African Nations Cup (CHAN) following the wrangles between FKF and KPL management, he said.
According to the FKF-KPL pact, only 16 teams can play during the 2017 season, comprising 14 teams that qualified on the field during the 2016 season and the two highest-ranked clubs at the end of the 2016 season in the FKF’s National Supper League.
The former FKF President said the Mwendwa group had unilaterally expanded the KPL to 18 teams for the current season. They had breached Article 1.2(g) of the FKF-KPL agreement that categorically states that any proposals for the relegation or promotion of clubs must be reviewed and agreed upon at least one season prior to implementation, he said in court papers.
Nyamweya said Mwendwa and his associates had disobeyed sanctions by the Sports Dispute Tribunal, which gave orders on October 14, last year, restraining them from interfering with KPL affairs or discussing expansion of the participating clubs. The following day, the FKF leadership discussed and approved Club Licensing Regulations, which gave room for expansion of the league without consultations with all stakeholders, he said.
“They must observe fairness and perform their duties in a manner that preserves the dignity of sports and for the benefit of players, referees, fans and all stakeholders,” Nyamweya said.
He is seeking the invalidation of the unilateral post-season relegation, promotion and addition of clubs in violation of the FKF-KPL agreement. He wants the controversial Club Licensing Regulations to be scrapped.