Barry Silah @obel_barry
Thika United faces Ushuru in the first play-off match to determine who will clinch the final promotion slot to the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) at the Thika Sub-County Stadium this afternoon.
This is after the Sports Disputes Tribunal threw out Thika’s petition opposing the play-offs, initially scheduled for December 2 and 6 before being moved to December 6 and 10, noting that the same had not been contemplated at the start of the season and after an ex parte (in the interests of one side only) hearing on December 5, the Tribunal ordered the playoff called off temporarily.
But tribunal chairman John Ohaga says the argument by Thika that the procedure for declaring the play-off was not done procedurally lacked merit hence opening the stage for the match.
Both teams have been preparing for the duel where the winner of the two legs will join Vihiga United and Wazito FC in the top flight while the loser drops to the second tier National Super League alongside Western Stima and Muhoroni Youth.
Thika ended their league campaign in 16th position while Ushuru were third in the NSL and with the top two in the second tier gaining automatic promotion and the bottom two in SPL getting relegated, a play-off was necessitated between the two sides to determine who clinches the final promotion slot.
In his judgement, Ohaga faulted Thika for not providing compelling evidence that they had been wronged in the suit after the tribunal’s findings proved otherwise. Thika will now focus on assembling a good team on the pitch as Ushuru have a good squad and an experienced coach in Ken Kenyatta capable of winning the match. The team will also meet all costs of the petition.