Following the reinstatement of Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth in the Kenyan Premier League by the Sports Dispute Tribunal, a full raft of fixtures will be held this weekend save for the match involving Ulinzi Stars. The Kenya Defence Forces side is engaged in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Sofapaka will play Sony Sugar at Afraha Stadium on Sunday, March 19 while Muhoroni Youth host Kariobangi Sharks at Muhoroni also on Sunday, March 19, in their opening matches of the season.
The Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) on Wednesday ruled that Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth remain in the Kenyan Premier League while nullifying the decision of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) promoting Vihiga United FC and KCB FC to the top flight competition.
Sofapaka had taken their case to the Tribunal challenging FKF’s decision to relegate them based on a club licensing requirement introduced by the federation.
The Tribunal, while acknowledging the importance of clubs meeting a minimum requirement in order to be eligible to participate in the Premiership, pointed out that licensing conditions as enforced by the FKF were flawed.
“…we found the FKF Club Licensing Regulations as set out in the manual defective in certain material respects. We also find the manner in which the Club Licensing Committee undertook its responsibility to be wanting,” SDT said in its ruling.
The Tribunal further stated: “We have gone into an exhaustive examination of the Club Licensing Regulations because the Tribunal recognizes the importance of their implementation in improving the game of football in Kenya. The recognition of such important imposes a heavy responsibility on the FKF to implement these regulations properly and with appropriate respect for the legal and sporting rights of clubs which are subject to the regulations, always upholding the principle set out in the Fifa Status to the effect that: ‘A club’s entitlement to take part in a domestic league championship shall depend principally on sporting merit.’”
SportPesa Premier League round two fixtures:
Saturday, 18 March: Gor Mahia v Zoo (Moi Stadium, 2pm), Chemelil Sugar v Kakamega Homeboyz (Chemelil Stadium, 3pm), Nzoia Sugar v Mathare United (Sudi Stadium, 3pm), Posta Rangers v Bandari (Thika County Stadium, 3pm)
Sunday, 19 March: Thika United v Tusker (Thika County Stadium, 2pm), Nakumatt v AFC Leopards (Thika County Stadium, 4.15pm), Muhoroni Youth v Kariobangi Sharks (Muhoroni Stadium, 3pm), Sofapaka v Sony Sugar (Afraha Stadium, 3.45pm)