NAIROBI, May 13- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have scoffed at the Kenyan Premier League attempts to have bigger say in matters relating to national team Harambee Stars by insisting policy issues pertaining to football remain solely in their domain.
On Wednesday, FKF moved with speed to assert their authority following a raft of resolutions adopted at a KPL Governing Council last week that demand among other things, involvement in selection of Stars technical bench, a share of revenue from international friendlies outside the Fifa calendar and directives on release of players to the national side.
The latest development sparks off another frontier in their long running feud that has enjoyed a ceasefire of less than two months since world body Fifa mediation deflated their row over this season’s top flight.
“Whereas this support is highly welcome and valuable, we remind our member clubs that playing for the national team is a call to national duty, a service to our nation, a sacrosanct assignment and an epitome of our national pride and collective aspirations of our nation and any attempts to deviate from this cause is self-defeating and unacceptable,” part of a statement signed by FKF Secretary General, Michael Esakwa read.
“The benefits derived by a player for playing in the national team cannot be over emphasized, the empirical value of players is pegged on international caps a player has attained and denying them this opportunity is unjust and unfair,” he added.
It comes a day after the KPL Governing Council published resolutions governing release of players to the national teams requiring 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 from affiliated clubs.
“The federation will 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,” a section for their directives read in direct in what reads as an incursion into FKF territory.
“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.
In the past, FKF has organised friendlies outside the Fifa calendar where the national head coach has called on KPL players to be bulk of the squad.
“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.
The league management body also gave guidelines on safeguarding allowances, accommodation, medical and related issues of their players on national duty saying they would hold back their players from Stars if FKF refused to abide by them.
“FIFA regulations touching on release of players is confined to an Association and a club and Football Kenya Federation will directly engage our member clubs for the local based players and or Association (s) and their members club (s) for the professional players.
“As we focus on the AFCON qualifiers starting in June 2015, the CHAN qualifiers in July the 2018 World Cup preliminary matches, international friendly matches and CECAFA Championships, we call for channeling of positive energy towards the national team,” the federation fired back.
With both FKF and KPL staring at another push and pull, Harambee Stars are yet to report to camp or outline a programme, despite the looming opening leg of their 2017 AFCON qualifiers away to Congo Brazzaville.
Kenya who bowed out at the preliminary round of the 2015 qualifiers will also take on 2012 winners Zambia and Guinea Bissau for the Gabon final continental showpiece.
The national team is also set to face Ethiopia in the CHAN qualifiers which features only locally based players, something that could complicate the issue if FKF fail to adhere to KPL’s new rules.