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Fifa accused of creating anarchy within Kenya after new directive

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CELLESTINE OLILO

By CELLESTINE OLILO
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Fifa’s decision to disregard the Sports Dispute Tribunal and its recent ruling has left many questions unanswered, and local stakeholders are now calling upon the world football governing body to desist from creating anarchy within the local judicial systems.

In a letter addressed to Football Kenya federation (FKF) General Secretary Barry Otieno on Wednesday, Fifa’s Chief Member Associations Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba said that the body does not recognise the SDT or its decisions since it “is not the national arbitration tribunal.”

This raises the question: Which is the national arbiter on sports matters?

“Fifa is in error by asserting that the Sports Dispute Tribunal is not the ultimate national arbitration tribunal on matters sports, and that FKF statutes do not recognise the tribunal. The very registration of FKF is anchored on the Sports Act 2013 (revised 2019), which creates the Sports Dispute Tribunal as the only National Sports Disputes Tribunal in Kenya with both original and Appellate Jurisdictions on Sports Disputes,” read a joint statement from football stakeholders.

Additionally, Fifa could be seen to be dealing in double standards, since they have upheld several past decisions made by the SDT, including John Ohaga’s ruling on December 5 that nullified the FKF elections that had been slated for December 7.

“Fifa acknowledged that decision publicly and even asked the federation to conduct fresh elections in accordance with the SDT recommendations. What has changed now?” posed FKF presidential aspirant Lordvick Aduda. The other key questions raised via this letter is, what mechanisms should aggrieved sports men and women follow when seeking justice?

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“Fifa is just creating confusion for no reason, and that is very wrong. They have forbidden us from taking sports issues to civil courts, and then disregarding rulings from sports courts. So what next?” Aduda said. “There are so many local footballers who have found justice at the tribunal, and Fifa’s latest communication now throws them off because, where will they go if they want justice?” asked a local footballer who asked for anonymity to avoid victimisation.

In light of this development, those opposing Fifa’s position have the following options: They could go back to the SDT and cite the federation for contempt of court, or move to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to plead their case, which will be a lengthy and expensive exercise.

BELITTLE JUDIACIARY SYSTEM

They could also challenge the sports ministry to make a firm decision and give a way forward, or demand to be included in the talks scheduled for April 6 which will involve Fifa, the FKF, the SDT representative(s) and the Minister of Sport in order to find a way to argue out their position.

“For the record, the SDT is an institution established by law and is the only national sports dispute tribunal in Kenya. We are not convinced that Fifa or Caf, both registered and operating under the national laws of Switzerland and Egypt respectively, would dare defy the laws of those nations nor belittle their judiciary system.”

“We welcome Fifa proposal for a roundtable meeting with all the stakeholders’ involvement. However, such a meeting must be objective, without prejudice to the parties and without a predetermined outcome, rather it should allow for a meeting of the minds ad idem as it were,” the statement from stakeholders read.

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Wimbledon cancelled for first time since WWII

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Coco Gauff celebrates beating Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon 2019

London, United Kingdom, Apr 1 – Wimbledon
organisers on Wednesday scrapped the grasscourt Grand Slam for the first time
since World War II as the coronavirus wreaks further havoc on the global
sporting calendar.

The cancellation of the only grasscourt
major at the All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis due
to be played until mid-July.

“Devastated,” tweeted eight-time
champion Roger Federer.

Wimbledon was due to run for two weeks from
June 29, with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep set to defend their singles
titles.

But tournament chiefs bowed to the
inevitable on Wednesday, saying in a statement that they had made the decision
with “great regret”.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said
the decision had not been taken lightly.

“It has weighed heavily on our minds
that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by
world wars,” he said.

“But, following thorough and extensive
consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global
crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s
Championships.”

Halep tweeted her disappointment.

“So sad to hear @Wimbledon won’t take
place this year,” she said. “Last year’s final will forever be one of
the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than
tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look
forward to defending my title.”

The decision to scrap the tournament was
widely expected, with the world struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19,
which has infected more than 840,000 people worldwide and killed over 40,000.

It also prompted the ATP and WTA to cancel
the grasscourt swing in the build-up to Wimbledon, meaning the tennis season
will not now recommence until July 13 at the earliest.

Organisers had earlier ruled out playing
the Grand Slam behind closed doors and postponing the event would also create
its own problems.

– Becker plea –

Boris Becker enjoyed a successful spell from 2014 until 2016 as coach of former world number one Novak Djokovic, during which the Serbian won six Grand Slam titles

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker on Tuesday pleaded for tournament chiefs to wait longer before making a decision.

“I really hope Wimbledon will wait
until the end of April for decision!” he tweeted. “The tourney is
first week of July… patience is a virtue.”

But former women’s world number one Amelie
Mauresmo, the 2006 women’s champion, said the 2020 season would probably need
to be scrapped.

The cancellation of Wimbledon could mean
multiple champions Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams have played at
the All England Club for the final time.

Federer and Serena will be nearly 40 by the
time of the 2021 championships and Venus will be 41.

Serena, beaten in last year’s final by
Halep, is stuck on 23 Grand Slam singles titles — agonisingly one away from
equalling Margaret Court’s record.

The French Tennis Federation provoked
widespread anger with its unilateral decision to move the French Open from its
original May 24 start date to begin on September 20.

That puts the start only one week after the
planned date of the US Open men’s final.

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Howe first Premier League boss to take pay cut over virus

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AFP

By AFP
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Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe became the first Premier League manager to take a voluntary pay cut due to the coronavirus on Wednesday.

Cherries boss Howe, 42, agreed to take a “significant” cut to his reported £4 million-per-year ($4.9 million) contract to help offset the financial damage caused by the pandemic.

The League Managers Association, the Professional Footballers Association, the Premier League and the Football League are in talks with a view to reaching a united agreement over pay reductions for players and managers.

But Howe, chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes and assistant boss Jason Tindall have rubber stamped significant pay cuts for the period of time football is delayed by the health crisis.

The Premier League has been postponed until at least April 30 and, with the pandemic spread yet to be solved, it appears the top-flight season will be pushed back again when the English game’s major stakeholders meet on Friday.

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“As the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to gather pace, there are far more questions than answers regarding its effects,” a Bournemouth statement read.

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“There is no script for moments like this. But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees are protected when the season returns.

“With that in mind, chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall have all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time.”

Bournemouth have also followed in the footsteps of fellow Premier League clubs Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich by furloughing a number of non-playing staff.

“These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world,” the statement said.

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Okwiri keeps Tokyo dream despite Dakar loss

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Rayton Okwiri jab Patrick Amoti in a previous bout. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Rayton Okwiri describes his loss
to Ugandan David Ssemujji at the African Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal
as ‘daylight robbery’ and has now vowed to prove his worth at the world qualifiers
when new dates are announced after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Okwiri travelled to Dakar with high pedigree after giving up
his African Boxing Union middleweight belt to have a shot at his second
Olympics, but that dream was punched down by the Ugandan in a controversial
split decision.

“I couldn’t believe when I saw his hand being lifted in the
ring. I was very sure that I had beaten him and gathered more points. But
unfortunately that’s how boxing is sometimes, you don’t get the decision you
deserve,” Okwiri told Capital Sport.

Rayton Okwiri was the last Kenyan boxer remaining in Rio Olympics competition after Benson Gicharu and Peter Mungai were bundled out.

“I had prepared really well and was confident that I would
have a chance to go to the Olympics and that’s why I gave up by belt. With the
new AIBA rules, we are allowed to be Pro and try out at the Olympics as well
and that’s why I decided to go,” further added the Kenya Prisons officer,
nicknamed ‘Boom boom’ for his swift left-right combinations.

The world qualifiers were initially set for July, but they
have since been halted because of the health concerns posted by the new novel
coronavirus. A new date is expected soon.

As he waits for the announcement of the second round of
qualification for the Tokyo Games that will now be held in 2021, Okwiri says he
is keeping in shape though normal training has been made hard because of the
social distancing rules enforced by the government.

“At the moment training is not as smooth as everyone would
have wished but it is a situation that we cannot have control over it. But over
and above all I am trying to keep fit by doing lots of roadwork and body
workouts in the house. Once in a while I also try do some gym work,” Okwiri
said.

Kenya’s Rayton Okwiri steps into the ring during the African Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal. PHOTO/NOCK/Twitter

He added; “I know I will be ready when they announce when
the qualifiers will be staged and I am really optimistic that I can make my
second Olympics.”

Okwiri reached the quarter finals in Rio 2016 and believes
he will be in a position to medal if he makes it for the Tokyo Games in 2021.

“It was very tough in 2016 and most of those I played
against and together with are now full professionals. I also believe I have
gathered enough experience by playing Pro for the last few years and I am a
better boxer now,” stated Okwiri.

(Visited 5 times, 5 visits today)

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