NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The blame game has started after South African PayTV company SuperSport announced on Friday that it had terminated its contract as the top tier league’s broadcast partners.
The league managers in a communiqué signed by Chief Executive Officer have now blamed the development on FKF’s push for an 18-team league and the Sports Disputes Tribunal’s ruling that KPL are subordinate to the Federation.
KPL have now accused the federation of failing to respect an agreement signed between the federation and the league managers in 2015, giving KPL authority to run the top tier league.
“The main bone of contention was the populist political campaign promise of the new FKF President to unilaterally increase the KPL from 16 to 18 teams. But the real issue was not league size but who decides league size. The FKF President’s determination to do so unilaterally was a blatant violation of the spirit and letter of the FKF-KPL Agreement,” KPL said in their statement.
The league managers have also picked an issue with the tribunal accusing it of issuing directives that contradicted its earlier ruling on the validity of the September 2015 agreement.
It is on this second ruling which stated that KPL was an agency of the federation that SuperSport decided to pull the plug on screening league matches live.
“The additional and subsequent SDT decisions and orders were based on the false premise that the FIFA Statutes endowed FKF with the sole authority of determining the size of the league. The SDT then launched a process to change the Agreement during which the legitimate concerns and many objections of KPL were largely ignored,” the statement from KPL said.
It further went on to state; “It’s a sad day when a populist political campaign promise without any significant professional merits becomes a main reason for undermining and possibly destroying KPL which, with the support of SuperSport over the last decade, is one of the true success stories in Kenyan and African football over the last 15 years,”
The federation will on Saturday issue its reaction but president Nick Mwendwa has said on Twitter he will be meeting with KPL clubs on Tuesday adding “We will sort this once and for all”.