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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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Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.

“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.

“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”

With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.

There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

Rugby Championship

There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.

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That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.

South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.

“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.

‘Seven Nations’

Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?

Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.

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England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.

Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.

Super Rugby

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Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.

The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.

Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.

South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.

‘Pro16’

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.

“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.

But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.

While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.

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Currie Cup

The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.

First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.

But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections

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By NATION REPORTER

Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.

The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.

Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.

Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.

Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.

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