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FKF, KPL make headway in 18-team debate

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

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) finance committees will meet on Saturday to look into the financial implications and modalities of expanding the top tier league to an 18-team format from the current format of 16 teams.

This was decided on Friday afternoon after the first meeting between the two bodies through a Joint Executive Committee (JEC) which seeks to unlock the stalemate over an additional two teams in the Premier League.

“We had a very fruitful meeting today (Friday) and made some crucial steps. We discussed at length on the merits and demerits and basically, we are almost at a consensus and the only thing remaining is working out on the financial bit,” FKF National Executive Committee member Chris Amimo told Capital Sport.

“On Saturday we will have a meeting with financial experts from both FKF and KPL who will work out on the costs of an added two teams and how we can go about it. I think that is the only thing remaining.”

READ: 15 teams for 2017 KPL as Thika, Muhoroni and Sofapaka axed

On their side, KPL are waiting on the outcome of the Saturday morning meeting to make their final stand but outgoing chairman Ambrose Rachier described the Friday meeting as ‘productive’.

“A smaller committee is sitting down tomorrow (Saturday) to make further deliberations. The meeting today has been productive though I cannot conclusively say we have made any agreements. We have made progress definitely,” Rachier said.

KPL was represented by Rachier, his Mathare United counterpart Bob Munro and incoming chairman James Musyoki of Tusker FC.

FKF had Amimo, President Nick Mwendwa and Secretary General Robert Muthomi.

The two bodies were ordered by the Sports Disputes Tribunal to go back to the negotiating table according to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2015 to look at modalities of expanding the league.

The two have until January 16 where they are set to forward their deliberations to the tribunal and a final decision expected to be fully agreed the following day when they have a joint sitting.

The expansion of the league is however set to be implemented in 2018 with the 2017 season set to have 15 teams due to the strict club licensing rules implemented by the Federation.

Thika United, Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka were demoted after failing to meet the legal and financial requirements. However, the three have appealed the decision.

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