Squash to begin Commonwealth re-selection after Court setback


Muqtadir Nimji. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
Muqtadir Nimji. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • The Kenya Squash and Racquets Association Thursday suffered a setback after the High Court dismissed a petition it had filed seeking to stop the Sports Dispute Tribunal from recalling two athletes selected to represent Kenya in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia
  • In his judgment, Justice George Odunga ruled that the tribunal had jurisdiction to determine who represent the country in the upcoming games

The Kenya Squash and Racquets Association Thursday suffered a setback after the High Court dismissed a petition it had filed seeking to stop the Sports Dispute Tribunal from recalling two athletes selected to represent Kenya in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

In his judgment, Justice George Odunga ruled that the tribunal had jurisdiction to determine who represent the country in the upcoming games.

Judge Odunga further ruled that the Sports Tribunal decision to recall the two athletes will not be interfered with by the court.

He referred them back to the tribunal who will determine the athletes to represent Kenya in Australia next month.

“I find that the application before court is unmerited and therefore dismiss it with costs” Judge Odunga ruled.

In the petition, the Association had moved to court challenging the decision by to recall the athletes they had selected to represent the country.

Khaaliqa Nimji an alleged aggrieved player went to the tribunal and asked that the selection process be done afresh arguing that it was unfair.

The showpiece is scheduled to start on April 4 and the two were expected to travel and represent Kenya in Australia.

In their petition against the tribunal, the association through their lawyer argued that the decision was arbitrary and made too late in the day with barely two weeks into the Commonwealth games in Australia.

Katunga Mbuvi had argued that unless the decision was stayed the players who were selected stand to be harassed based on the decision of the tribunal.

Mbuvi has filed a supporting affidavit signed by David Ngunjiri Theuri which states that the complaint which the Tribunal entertained was already overtaken by events since the selection had already been done.

He had also argued that the tribunal decision has caused unrest, confusion and interfered with the applicant members and officials preparation to attend the scheduled Commonwealth games.

He said the Association did a country wide selection and picked two best players who qualified.

“These two met the conditions and qualifications set by the Commonwealth host country, Australia,” the lawyer said.

“There is no way the Association can repeat the pre-trials qualifications because the deadline for reporting and presentation of names was March 7 2018,’ Mbuvi said.

The lawyer said the Tribunal made an arbitrary decision to order a re-selections as it did not involve all parties in its proceedings.

Soon after the judgement was delivered, Gakuo Ndirangu a squash player and Nairobi Captain welcomed the judgement saying the ruling will give them an opportunity to select the best players to represent Kenya.

Ndirangu said that the committee had not selected the best players and they did not do trials at the time they gave the names of the two athletes.

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Story By Agnes Oloo
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