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FKF offers to finance two extra clubs for 18-team league

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FKF President Nick Mwendwa stresses a point as he appeared before the Sports Disputes Tribunal on December 15, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 15 – Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa has said they are willing to incur extra expenses of bringing in two additional teams into the league as the Federation goes on with its push for an 18-team league next season.

Mwendwa said this on Thursday evening as he was being cross-examined at the Sports Disputes Tribunal on the second day of full hearing in a case presented by the Kenyan Premier League.

He said they are willing to forego their annual grant of Sh10mn from KPL as well as top it up with a Sh5mn sum which sponsors SportPesa have expressed willingness to add, and will increase it from within their own accounts to ensure the league goes on without hitch.

“Each team is entitled to Sh7.5mn a season in grants and that makes it Sh15mn for the two extra teams. In our own small calculations with experience in running the National Super League, Sh5mn is enough for all the administrative costs of these two teams. So with Sh20mn, we will be able to effectively have these two teams play,” Mwendwa told the Sports Tribunal.

He adds that the Federation has its coffers full and it will be no problem financing the two teams with a Sh70mn per year sponsorship from SportPesa, Sh125mn per year grant from FIFA and a further Sh20.5mn per year from CAF.

The FKF head gave this as one of his prayers to the tribunal, on top of asking it to throw out the case presented by KPL.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa confers with his lawyer Ken Ochieng as he appeared before the Sports Disputes Tribunal on December 15, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The league governing body in its initial move had asked the tribunal to interpret a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year between them and the Football Kenya Federation over management of the league.

FKF however now argues that the MoU signed on their behalf by the previous President Sam Nyamweya and his Secretary General Michael Esakwa contravenes its own Constitution as it gives the KPL more powers than it should have, thus insubordinating the Federation.

“This MoU signed created a body called a Joint Executive Committee and is given more power to run the league which in fact is the function of the National Executive Committee according to Article 34 of the Constitution,” Mwendwa noted.

According to him, giving KPL the powers to decide a vote when it’s tied at the JEC level is a huge contravention of FIFA, CAF and FKF’s statutes.

He also went on to allege that the MoU signed in September last year which is the bone of contention did not have the blessings of FIFA and was not the initial document which was agreed on and brokered by a delegation led by Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi in April.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa persuses documents presented by KPL as he appeared before the Sports Disputes Tribunal on December 15, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Mwendwa went on to play an audio recording of the press conference addressed by Nyantakyi alongside a delegation from FIFA after brokering a truce between KPL and FKF when the war over expanding the league went ugly in March 2015.

“The agreement signed in 2015 was a clear departure of the FIFA mediation process. Why delay the whole signing for a document that was initially set to be signed by June? We feel that the Federation got a raw deal,” Mwendwa posed.

He also argued that contrary to requirement, the said agreement was signed without a resolution of the FKF NEC nor the KPL shareholders. However, the KPL legal counsel Geoffrey Obura objected saying both sides had discussed and agreed to sign the document.

FKF has also provided the tribunal with a new agreement to end the war between them and KPL and asked it to consider adoption of the same.

The case was adjourned to Tuesday morning where Obura is expected to continue grilling Mwendwa after which the tribunal will give a date for the ruling.

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