Zoo FC will exhaust every possible legal avenue to ensure the club’s “unfair” expulsion from the BetKing Premier League by FIFA due to match-fixing is reversed.
On Tuesday 4 May, the world’s governing football body wrote to the Kericho based side confirming that it had stripped it of its topflight status after it’s (FIFA) Disciplinary Committee found the club guilty of ensuring manipulation of two topflight matches between 2019 and 2020.
The matches in question are Zoo’s away ties to Sofapaka FC in January of 2019 and Wazito FC in March of 2020. Zoo lost both matches, going down 3-2 to Sofa and 4-1 to Wazito.
Aside from the expulsion, Zoo have been demoted to the FKF Division One (3rd tier) with immediate effect.
In rebuttal almost immediately after the news broke, Zoo have confirmed that they will appeal the decision which according to the club lacks merit.
“In essence, it our belief that the Report (Investigative) was inadequate and its findings doubtful. We in fact called upon the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to review the facts and the evidence over and above the said Report,” part of Zoo’s statement reads.
“This morning we were however surprised to receive a communique from FIFA that unfortunately held us responsible for match manipulation pursuant to art. 8 FDC as read with art. 18 pars 1 and 2 FIFA Disciplinary Code and, eventually, the imposition of sanctions that basically relagated us to the Division One League in the 2021/2021 Season. We will in the next ten (10) days write to them to provide further particulars of their decision which we believe is based on the misguided legal concept of “strict liability.
Stay of Execution
“We have since prepared our Appeal to the FIFA Appeals Committee under art. 56 FIFA Disciplinary Code which we shall soon file and are confident our appeal shall be successful. We shall also seek a stay of execution of the said decision that will allow us to continue participating in the league. We assure you that we are prepared to exhaust all legal avenues to ensure this unfair decision is reversed including lodging any further or other appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports,” the club stated.
The news comes just a week from the tentative resumption of football in the country after a two-month suspension due to the high rise in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Zoo have had a tough start to the campaign and sat bottom of the standings before the expulsion.