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Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth Fc Reinstated in KPL Season of 2017

Sofapaka Fc president Eli Kalekwa .photo/file

It is confirmed through the legal ruling that Sofapaka Fc and Muhoroni Youth Fc will participate in the Sportpesa Premier League this season.

The Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) chaired by John Ohaga ruled against Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to relegate Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth from the Sportpesa Premier League due to failure to honor the club licensing guidelines.

Tribunal chairman in his Wednesday’s ruling termed the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) club licensing manual as defective and that most of the clauses in the manual are not reflective of the CAF and FIFA manual.

“Our findings reveal that FKF club licensing regulations as set out in the manual are defective in certain material aspects, the club licensing committee did not carry out their responsibilities in the right manner,”Ohaga ruled.

The ruling comes in favor of Sofapaka Fc and Muhoroni Youth Fc who were left out of the KPL fixtures of 2017.The league kicked off on 11th March with the two clubs left out to know their fate.

It now means that Vihiga United and KCB who were earlier on promoted by FKF to the top tier league remain in the National Super League until stated otherwise.

On the other hand, FKF through its lawyer Patricia Mitei said the federation will immediately embark on matters correcting the manual and thereafter  they will call for a Special General Meeting to rectify and pass it for clubs to re-apply.

Fans and clubs stakeholders did not hide their joy after the ruling as they revealed that they were eagerly waiting to see their respective teams participate in this season’s edition .Sofapaka assistant Coach John Baraza was fast to express his happiness as the ruling came in his club’s favor.

“We are extremely joyful with the decision made by the Tribunal as it has taken a long time. But we are happy that justice has finally taken its course and we are ready to start our KPL campaign of this season because we have been in thorough preparations for it”, said Baraza.

Muhoroni Youth benefited from the rulling as well although Sofapaka had presented the case to the Tribunal separately as a single club.

However, Mary Bonyo appearing for clubs as well as KPL and Jimmy Simiyu appearing for the fans argued that since the tribunal had already ruled that the licensing rule book was defective, then it wouldn’t be right to use the same on Muhoroni.

Ohaga was then forced to conduct a brief ruling on Muhoroni Youth Fc and finally ruled out that the same ruling on Sofapaka applies the same to Muhoroni Youth.

Football Kenya Federation’s (FKF) failure to give the tribunal Sofapaka’s score card came to haunt them as the tribunal said it cannot ascertain most of the claims made during hearing by the federation.

“The tribunal was not given the scorecard and therefore has no visibility of the manner in which the licensing committee conducted the scoring and arrived at the score of 38.5 percent which placed the club under the red range,” Ohaga’s ruling read.

It is now official that Mohoroni Youth Fc and Sofapaka Fc will take part in the Sportpesa Premier League of 2017 edition after a long misunderstanding between KPL and FKF on club licensing rules.