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KPL ventures into Harambee Stars territory

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STARS-TRAININGNAIROBI, May 12 – The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) has moved to stamp its authority on Harambee Stars by adopting a raft of resolutions regarding releasing their players for national duty, direct involvement in management of the team itself and a share of revenues.

The declarations could ignite a new battlefront between KPL and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) barely two months after the resolution of a feud that almost paralysed club football in the country.

In what will certainly raise temperatures, the top flight league management further seeks to scrutinise audited books of accounts belonging to the national side that is a preserve of FKF.

The sweeping recommendations announced on Tuesday evening via a post on their official website kpl.co.ke pertain to a KPL Governing Council Meeting held last Thursday.

“The federation will also be required to provide unrestricted access by a certified Public auditor appointed by KPL to oversee income, expenditure statements and related accounting records for all national teams involving players from the league,” part of their resolutions read in what will conflict with FKF who maintain full control of Stars.

“In full compliance with Annex 1 on the “Release of Players to Association Teams” in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, KPL clubs shall release their players for matches on dates in the FIFA Coordinated International Match Calendar,” KPL stated in another dig at the federation.

FKF has habitually organised friendlies outside the Fifa calendar where the national head coach has called on KPL players to be bulk of the squad.

After written notice from the federation to the club and players 10 prior, KPL sides will release players 48 hours before a friendly, four days before a qualifier inside Africa and a day more for games outside the continent under the Fifa calendar.

“However, KPL clubs may agree to release their players for longer periods than for other international tournaments and friendly matches on dates not in the FIFA Calendar on condition that FKF agrees to allocate KPL a reasonable share of all revenue for all national teams involving players from the domestic top flight,” the resolutions read further.

In what is due to evoke more strong reaction from FKF, KPL are demanding to have one of its representative designated by them in management of national football teams including the recruitment, selection and termination of national team coaches and technical bench members.

FKF will be mandated to confirm in writing on the qualification and experience of the Team Doctor certified by the Kenya Medical Association who will be on the technical bench at all international matches.

The federation will be required to confirm in writing that all players involved have been paid their full allowances and expenses to date in what is meant to curb complaints by players of non-remittance of their dues on national duty.

Apart from submitting a detailed national teams training and international competitions plan for a year for review and approval by the KPL Governing Council, FKF will also have to confirm in writing that the national team players will have proper accommodation, food, medical care and training facilities.

“If the deadlines are not respected, then the next period of release shall be shortened by 24 hours for friendly matches, three days for qualifying matches and 10 days for the final competition of an international tournament.

“If the national association repeatedly breaches the provisions, clubs are at liberty to appeal to the FIFA Players Status Committee which may impose sanctions, including but not limited to fines, a reduction of the period of release or a ban on calling up players for subsequent matches,” the league management body asserted.

A bitter standoff that sparked by the federation at the end of last season in wanting an 18-team competition for 2015 led to the establishment of parallel leagues when FKF and KPL differed on the constitution of the top flight that saw the former obtain a High Court injunction against the latter stopping their competition for two weeks.

Fifa mediated talks allowed both leagues to run with the KPL recognised formally as the top flight and FKF-PL acting as a feeder to the former but under the federation as supreme body in local football.

The parties are due to return to the negotiating table in November upon the lapse of the current season to thrash out agreement on the number of teams in next year’s top flight, commercial rights including broadcast sponsorship and other sticking issues therein.

FKF was also mandated to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KPL to manage the league by June and it remains to be seen whether the fractious truce will be upheld by the guidelines of the latter’s Governing Council that seem like an incursion into the federation’s territory.

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