The Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) retreated on Tuesday to consider submissions to the ongoing litigation surrounding the controversial Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections, while opening the door for the protagonists to consider a collaborative rather than an adversarial approach to resolve the impasse.
The Tribunal is in the meantime offering to convene a round table meeting with the parties with a view to finding a solution.
This is after a hearing yesterday where the SDT heard submissions from a section of football stakeholders, who have applied to have former FKF officials cited for contempt of the March 17 ruling.
A letter dated March 18, 2020 attributed to FKF CEO Barry Otieno, which it is claimed was addressed to world football governing body, Fifa, featured prominently.
Lawyer Nelson Odongo for clubs and journalist Milton Nyakundi argued the letter was in utter contempt of the SDT verdict that confirmed the term of office FKF’s National Executive Committee was at an end.
SDT chair John Ohaga gave FKF lawyer Victor Omwebu until tomorrow to file another affidavit to clarify on the contents of the letter to Fifa to which the other parties should file responses the day after.
Odongo submitted that: “It is our view that the letter by Veron Moessengo- Omba dated 25th March 2020 is not the position of Fifa but the position of Veron which came about by the contemptuous interference by Barry Otieno.”
This position was shared by journalist Nyakundi that: “Veron’s letter may have been out of misinformation on the establishment and status of SDT as the National Sports Arbitration body in Kenya.
FIfa, in the letter by Mosengo-Omba said the SDT ruling was of no legal effect and therefore rejected the request to form Normalisation Committee.
Lawyer CBG Ouma asked the SDT to form a Normalisation Committee contemplated in Article 8(2) of the Fifa Statutes.
The Article says: “Executive bodies of member associations may under exceptional circumstances be removed from office by the Council in consultation with the relevant confederation and replaced by a normalisation committee for a specific period of time.”
Ouma argued the SDT has the power to enforce those FIFA statutes by appointing a Normalization Committee where, “Fifa fails, refuses or ignores its duty to intervene to normalise an abnormal situation in a member federation.”
FKF’s lawyer Omwebu dismissed calls for the formation of a Normalisation Committee saying the matter had been already been conclusively adjudicated and the SDT found not it commendable.
“Besides the said Article 8(2) is an instrument reserved for the Fifa Council.”
He added: “There is nothing substantive that the challengers have presented worthy of being determined upon in their favour or to address the urgent need for the Federation to conclude its elections.”
“It is clear for all to see that the real intention of the challengers is not to promote and progress football activity in Kenya or to have the stalled elections concluded. Their sole agenda is to frustrate the Federation,” Omwebu said.