Court orders Zoo, Nakumatt to stay on in top flight

Saturday November 11 2017

Nakumatt's Kennedy Onyango (left) and  Danson Namasaka of Zoo Kericho vie for the ball during their SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on November 1, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Nakumatt's Kennedy Onyango (left) and Danson Namasaka of Zoo Kericho vie for the ball during their SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on November 1, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By VINCENT OPIYO
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The Court of Appeal on Friday ruled that the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) should continue having 18 teams until the Football Kenya Federation (FKF)’s appeal against the High Court ruling is heard and determined.

FKF on September 25 filed an appeal challenging High Court Judge John Mativo’s ruling that rendered the promotion of Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt to the top flight null and void.

However on October 3, the appellate court, a three-judge bench led by Justice Phillip Waki, Justice William Ouko and Justice Minoti Kathurima, ordered the two sides be reinstated into the league until a full ruling is delivered.

In their signed ruling on November 10, they directed the two teams to proceed participating in the top flight.

“The court has stated that it will weigh the respective hardship and prejudice that each party is likely to suffer by the granting or denial of an order of stay,” the ruling said.

“Ultimately, we are persuaded that the applicants intended appeal is arguable and that it will be rendered nugatory if we do not grant an order of stay of execution and the appeal ultimately succeeds.”

“We accordingly direct that there shall be a stay of execution of the judgment and decree of the High Court dated 21st September 2017 until the hearing and determination of the intended appeal. Costs of the application shall abide the outcome of the intended appeal. It’s so ordered.”

Zoo Kericho chairman, who is also the federation’s lawyer, Ken Ochieng’ said in his presentation on October 3 that the federation was in the process of paying Sh16 million to the league managers as part of the agreed Sh36 million meant to cater for the extra two teams.

They paid Sh5 million in April while Sh11 million was retained by KPL as license fee supposed to be remitted to FKF.

Both clubs have played 32 rounds with Zoo sitting 13th on 37 points, one ahead of 14th placed Nakumatt.

The retailers face Sony Sugar Saturday while Zoo host Thika United on November 15.