Nakumatt, Zoo Kericho suspended from KPL

Zoo Kericho FC players reacts after loss to Thika United FC during their SportPesa Premier ...
Zoo Kericho FC players reacts after loss to Thika United FC during their SportPesa Premier League match played at Thika sub county stadium in Thika on April 09, 2017. Thika United FC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) sides Zoo Kericho FC and Nakumatt FC will play no further part in the ongoing season after the league management suspended all matches involving the two.

The suspension, prompted by a court ruling that order the KPL be reverted to its initial 16-team format, will hold until an appeal lodged against the High Court ruling is heard and determined.

Thursday’s ruling by Justice John Mativo, which overturned the Sports Disputes Tribunal directive that allowed an 18-team KPL earlier this year, present another late twist to what has been a dramatic 2017 season for the top-flight league.

“Following service of the High Court Ruling issued on Thursday, 21 September 2017 in the matter of, Petition No. 59 of 2017, Sports Tribunal between Sam Nyamweya (Petitioner) and Sports Dispute Tribunal (1st Respondent), Football Kenya Federation (2nd Respondent), and Kenyan Premier League (3rd Respondent), as well as the KPL Governing Council meeting held on Friday, in compliance to the court’s decision, Nakumatt Football Club and Zoo Football Club have been suspended from participating in the Premier League,” a statement by the KPL read.

KPL emphasized respect for rule of law informed the decision, as they seek legal address for the matter.

Zoo and Nakumatt, who finished outside the KPL promotion bracket during the 2016 National Super League (NSL) campaign, were beneficiaries of Nick Mwendwa’s pledge to have an expanded league before he took over from Nyamweya as Football Kenya Federation president.

His agenda faced fierce resistance from the KPL management who felt an expanded league would mean an overstretching of league resources before Mwendwa and FKF vowed to cater for the expenses of accommodating an extra two teams.

It meant promoting four second-tier teams – in breach of the contract agreement between the governing body and the KPL Limited which specified stipulated only two NSL teams would be promoted to the top tier to match an equal number of clubs dropped.

Nzoia Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks who finished first and second respectively in the NSL 2016 season are therefore the only bonafide KPL members promoted last season.

So far, 25 rounds of matches have been played in the 18-team format.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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