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Ohaga says Fifa statutes not greater than Kenyan Constitution

By Barry Silah
Friday, March 27th, 2020
Sports Disputes Tribunal chairman John Ohaga addresses members of the media at a past function. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Sports Disputes Tribunal chairman John Ohaga seems to have folded his sleeves in readiness for a bout with world football governing body Fifa, after expressing dissatisfaction with the latest directive from Fifa Chief Officer in charge of Member Associations, Veron Mosengo-Omba on Wednesday.

Ohaga in his ruling on March 17 had called for a raft of measures to be effected  prior to a free and fair election, but a week later Fifa responded to his requests, watering down all his proposals and upholding the controversial FKF Electoral Code to keep the incumbent in office.

Though Ohaga categorically said he did not want to get involved in the murky football politics, he said Fifa statutes can never be greater than Kenya’s Constitution, stating:  “As long as the FKF elections will be held within the borders of Kenya, it will have to be under the Sports Act.”

Ohaga questioned Fifa’s motive after, incidentally, agreeing with some of the SDT rulings earlier.

He warned that SDT had full authority over sporting disputes since it was a constitutionally recognised body created under the Sports Act.

“First of all, we are a body that deliberates cases or disputes according to the law and as per our mandate. We are not interested in politics neither are we party to the fights.

Let me make it clear that football elections will be held in Kenya under the Constitutional framework and therefore all players must abide by the law,” he said.

He further stated that his ruling on NEC tenure had no contradiction because the substance issue which was on eligibility was flawed and therefore did not affect the Electoral Board or Appeals Board creation which was clearly done in a procedural manner.

Fifa stated that the Electoral Code was duly adopted by a validly convened General Assembly and emphasised that the relevant SDT ruling had no legal effect on Fifa.

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