NAIROBI, November 10- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss, Sam Nyamweya, has declared next season’s Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will have 18 teams up from 16 in a decision bound to throw the country’s football into turmoil.
The stunning development was communicated through a brief statement on Monday signed by FKF press officer, John Kariuki, with KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, informing Capital Sport, they would wait for their members to react to the news before issuing a response in what shapes up to the next battlefront in the supremacy wars between the two bodies.
According to proposals fronted by the federation into the new format, only Top Fry who finished bottom in the season that ended on Saturday with 17 points will go down to the Super League whilst City Stars who were condemned on 24 a place above them survive.
Shabana FC and Posta Rangers who won the Super League Zone A and B are promoted with the winner of the play-off between Kakamega Homeboyz and Nakumatt FC also going up to the top flight.
“However following years of turmoil in our football our federation inherited the 16 league format from the former FKL. Football Kenya Federation mission is to rekindle the spirit of Kenyan fans hence the need to have a bigger representation in our top league.
“The 2015/16 KPL season will now have an enlarged 18 team league,” the statement read in part.
“We will discuss with our members for a coordinated response,” was all a stunned Oguda could say when reached adding, “We are yet to receive communication.”
With broadcast sponsors SuperSport the major contributor to club kitties, it remains to be seen whether existing members will agree on their cut being slashed in the expanded competition with clubs facing decline in sponsorship.
Champions Gor Mahia started the season with no sponsors while Mumias Sugar and Blue Triangle are reportedly withdrawing from AFC Leopards and Sofapaka FC who finished runners-up as the KPL cash-crunch continues.
Following the harmonisation of the competing leagues in 2006, it was decided the top flight will consist of 16 teams to give the country a lean financially viable top flight competition.
Nyamweya’s latest directive may thrown the baby with the bath water and take the country’s footballs to the dark days of mid 2000s when the whole game sagged to its knees.
The latest directive follows a string of disruptive proclamations in the run up to the climax of the 2014 KPL season with the disputed game between AFC Leopards and Sony Sugar still pending even after the last ball was officially kicked on Saturday when FKF intervened in the matter.