Gor Mahia have sued StarTimes over the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League broadcasting rights.
The latest move is the boldest from the local heavyweights in their objection to the exclusive transmission privilege given to the Chinese firm
Kenyan giants Gor Mahia have sued StarTimes over the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League broadcasting rights.
Gor Mahia, as well as Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United and Zoo FC, have not endorsed the FKF-StarTimes partnership and the local giants have now rushed to court over the stand-off. Ulinzi Stars have not indicated what their move would be although they remain warned over the objection to the deal.
Zoo and Mathare, who did not play a single league game, were expelled after they failed to change their stance within a 48-hour timeframe given by the federation.
“Take notice that the plaintiff’s [Gor Mahia] notice of motion dated 11th December 2020 has been fixed on the 17th December 2020 at the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi,” a letter in possession of Goal, written by Gor Mahia lawyers from Obura Mbeche and Co, read.
“Take further notice that in default of your attendance either by yourself or someone else authorised by law to act on your behalf the same shall proceed and further orders made your absence notwithstanding.”
The Gor Mahia hierarchy remains divided over undertaking even though a letter written by the secretary-general Sam Ochola stated they have signed the endorsement.
“We Gor Mahia FC, members of FKF, are cognizant that on September 29, 2020, FKF entered into a media rights and commercial rights agreement [the agreement] with StarTimes [Kenya] Company Limited to be the exclusive broadcaster of the FKF Premier League for seven seasons [2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-25, 2025-26 and 2026-27],” Ochola’s letter to FKF read.
Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier later dismissed the letter and suspended Ochola over his action to support the FKF-StarTimes deal.
“The letter was written without our authority and the secretary-general [Sam Ochola] knows our stance,” Rachier stated in an earlier interview.
“We have external forces pushing me to resign from my post.
“At this moment, that is not important, the important issue is ensuring our rights are not interfered with. I am dealing with it and later on, I will focus on other issues.”
A top source within FKF told Goal Gor Mahia’s court move is insincere since they have already enjoyed airtime in the Premier League.
“Rachier is insisting Gor Mahia never signed the undertaking and this is a surprising move because Gor Mahia appeared twice on StarTimes and have now moved to sue the broadcaster,” the source said.
“He is suing the StarTimes in unclear circumstances because the contract is not with Gor Mahia but it is with FKF.
“Gor Mahia have also received KSh1 million from StarTime and now what remains to be seen are the reasons for Gor Mahia to sue the broadcaster. You know FKF has already opened the disciplinary proceedings on Rachier.
“He cannot sue the sponsor for the league and this could further complicate the disciplinary proceedings on him.”
Gor Mahia have played two games so far – an opening 1-0 win over Ulinzi Stars and a 2-1 loss to Tusker as the debacle with the FKF continues.