NAIROBI, KENYA, Feb 15- The Kenyan Premier League 2017 season is tentatively set to kick off February 25, according to Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda.
Oguda has said the league managers will respect last week’s ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal which directed them to draft fixtures for the new season, including 16 teams to start not later than February 25.
“We have to respect the decision of the tribunal and we will do as directed. We have already written to the federation and told them we are working on the fixtures which we will release in the next few days. By February 25, we should have started,” Oguda said.
The league had been set to start last weekend but was suspended by the federation following the decision by KPL to release a 16-team fixture, which included Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth who were demoted due to club licensing reasons.
Consequently, the two demoted clubs moved to the tribunal to challenge the federation’s decision and the case is set to go into full hearing on March 2. The case came up for mention on Tuesday.
KPL will now release a 16-team fixture which will include Nakumatt and Zoo Kericho who were promoted by the federation in anticipation of an 18-team league.
The tribunal will make a decision on whether Muhoroni and Sofapaka were unduly demoted and if so they will be reinstated into the league and play catch up fixtures.
If the tribunal upholds the federation’s decision, then Vihiga United and KCB who finished fifth and sixth in the National Super League last season will be promoted.
FKF insisted they will stand by their decision to demote the two clubs and they will effect the club licensing rules to the latter. FKF president Nick Mwendwa said the decision to demote clubs which failed to get a license was passed at the Annual general Meeting last year and approved by CAF.
Sofapaka and Muhoroni have meanwhile insisted they will not play in the second tier league not unless it is on sporting merit.