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FKF suspends 2017 KPL league till further notice

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Mwendwa says FKF have opened disciplinary action against KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, Chairman James Musyoki, Vice -Chairman Ambrose Rachier and Mathare United chairman Bob Munro.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – The tussle between Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is nowhere near an end after the federation suspended the 2017 Premier League until further notice as well as opening disciplinary cases against four KPL officials.

This is after the league managers on Monday went ahead to release fixtures for the 2017 season which had only 16 teams against FKF’s directive of an 18-team league and also include Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka who were relegated after failing to meet club licensing requirements.

Speaking on Tuesday, FKF boss Nick Mwendwa said they have invited members of the Joint Executive Committee (JEC)  for a final meeting at the Sports Dispute Tribunal on Wednesday seeking to iron out the issues after which a decision on new league dates will be reached.

“KPL and FKF have been at war for over 14 years. We have been doing this over and over again and we can’t keep extending these wars,” infuriated Mwendwa said.

The federation’s National Executive Committee passed a resolution to open disciplinary proceedings against KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda, Chairman James Musyoki, his vice Ambrose Rachier and Mathare United chairman Bob Munro for going against the federation’s directives despite being part of the JEC.

“FKF disciplinary committee will follow due process and summon individuals to be heard and they will pass a ruling after for us to implement. The three have brought the game into disrepute. We take serious exceptions as a federation in what KPL said in their statement as well as Rachier’s letter going against clear directives,” Mwendwa declared.

This follows the press statement released by KPL on Monday outlining the league’s structure for the new season adding on to Rachier’s letter late last week that Muhoroni and Sofapaka will play in the league despite being demoted.

“These same people have been at the JEC when we sat and agreed things and now they are going against the very same things we reached resolutions on. Those are blatant lies they are spreading and we can’t as a federation accept because we have facts. There are consequences when you don’t follow regulation,” Mwendwa noted.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa backed by members of the National Executive Committee addresses the press at the FKF Headquarters on February 7, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

While KPL say that the federation does not respect the agreement validated by the tribunal and signed in September 2015, FKF say that in its ruling the Tribunal directed that the expansion of the league will start in 2017 and hence they will not back down on the wish to have 18 teams in the top tier league.

He also said the financial implication was agreed on at Sh36mn and FKF is expected to deposit Sh24mn to KPL by April.

However, Mwendwa was at pains to substantiate allegations that both Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho had offered to add Sh10mn each to the agreed Sh36mn kitty to cater for an 18-team league, creating a clear conflict of interest as they will benefit from the league expansion.

“What is wrong with that?” Mwendwa posed when asked about the allegation.

-Club licensing-

On club licensing, Mwendwa has reiterated the two clubs will not play in the league as they did not meet the threshold.

He also affirmed the decision to relegate teams which do not conform to the regulations was agreed on at the Annual General Meeting last year, contrary to KPL’s allegation that it was slid under the door.

“We did our regulations and sent to CAF who approved that if you don’t have a club license by end of year 2016, you shall be relegated. I have the details of the AGM meeting. Item number 14 we voted on the proposal to adopt club licensing regulation. We got 70 votes against zero. If a club is not licensed, it will not be in the top tier league,” Mwendwa affirmed.

He adds; “The Premier League will be 18 teams as agreed and as per a letter sent to KPL last week.”

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