Suspension of Nakumatt, Zoo recipe for Shambles
The suspension of Nakumatt FC and Zoo FC from the Kenyan Premier League following a High Court ruling which directed that KPL reverts to a 16-team league will have far reaching unforeseen consequences.
On Thursday 24 morning, High Court Judge John Mativo ruled that FKF had erred in expanding the league early this year. KPL moved with speed to axe Nakumatt and Zoo from the league; the two teams didn’t feature over the weekend as they await for the outcome of an appeal FKF is set to lodge this week.
The High Court’s decision has thrown football into a state of disarray, what’s likely to follow are suit and counter suits that will paralyze the running of Kenya’s top tier league that’s already way behind schedule owing to court battle experienced at the start of the year and the general elections that resulted to postponement of matches in August.
What next for the two?
FIFA is against clubs, Football Associations [FAs] or individuals taking football matters to ordinary courts and Judge Mativo’s ruling explains why football matters should be handled by bodies with football knowledge. By ordering that KPL reverts to a 16-team league, the court didn’t give directions concerning the two additional teams. Where will Zoo and Nakumatt go to? The National Super League? Kenya’s 2017 football calendar is almost coming to a close and making such a ruling without considering its implications is a recipe for a disaster.
Null and Void
By expelling the two teams it means points and goals gained/lost by clubs against the two sides will be revoked. This will have a huge impact in the race for the Kenyan Premier League title and relegation from the league. A team like Gor Mahia that picked nine points from the clashes will lose the points and goals scored against the two teams. Mathare United’s 6-1 win over Zoo will be annulled and with the team fighting to remain in the top tier, this will come as a huge blow for the Francis Kimanzi coached team. Some teams will however be handed some reprieve; Western Stima for example lost nine points to the two teams conceding eight goals in the process and such a move will see them leapfrog a number of teams in the log.
FIFA is against Football matters being taken to ordinary courts and with FKF expected to appeal against the ouster of the two teams through the court, FIFA is will be more keen on the ongoing and Kenya risks being slapped with a ban.
A stay of execution/Injunction
As FKF prepares to lodge an appeal, the two clubs are likely to head to court seeking an injunction to stop the league until the appeal is heard and determined or seek stay of the orders which will see them continue participating in the league until the appeal is heard and determined by the court. Either way it will fuel the quagmire further.
Disruption of football
Court battles will only result to disruption of the calendar. KPL is already weeks behind schedule and any other halting will have fear reaching consequences in terms of time and resources.