Kenya will not be represented in taekwondo during the All Africa Games in Congo, Brazaville if fresh selections were to be conducted, a Nairobi’s Justice George Odunga of the Milimani Law Courts heard yesterday.
Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) treasurer Charles Nyaberi said accreditation has already been closed and it’s already too late for anything to be done following a deadline by the All Africa Games organising committee.
Through Lawyer Lydia Omuke, Nyaberi said the petition by the seven taekwondo players is an abuse of court process since they have failed or refused to use the established dispute resolution mechanisms as laid down by Sports Ministry and the Kenya Taekwondo Association (KTA).
Nyaberi also argued that he has been wrongly sued in the proceedings because he did not participate in organising, officiating or conducting trials and selection of teams and neither does he make decisions on behalf of the management or steering committee.
All decisions he says are made by a committee and his role as the executive officer is mainly secretarial and communicating decisions of the management committee to various people.
“The trials and the selection of the taekwondo team were conducted on May 30 and no complaint has been received by the management committee regarding the selection.
They have waited since 30 may to date without any complaints and are now seeking to stop the team already selected from representing the country at the last minute,” he said.
The Commissioner for Sports Gordon Oluoch also states that the team did not file a complaint with the management and steering committee neither have they approached the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) nor have they placed the dispute before the sports tribunal to have the dispute resolved.
He says KTA has a dispute resolution mechanism which can be used to resolve disputes which the petitioners haven’t stated that they have tried using the internal dispute resolution mechanism before approaching the court.
“Where there are internal dispute resolution mechanisms, then the same must be used first before parties can approach the court,” he says.
He directed the parties to appear before him tomorrow when he will deliver a ruling on whether fresh trials and selection of the tae kwondo team for the All Africa Games 2015 in Congo, Brazzaville will be conducted.
The seven Tae kwondo athletes alleged that they were intentionally left out of trials purportedly held by the sports commissioner on May 30 for national selection of Tae kwondo players to participate in the All Africa Games from September 16-19.
According to the seven, the trials held at the Public Service Commission Club allegedly consisted of only two out of the over 50 Tae kwondo teams in Kenya. Their numbers they say do not meet the threshold requiring at least four contestants in each of the eight weight categories.