NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has officially written to South Africa PayTV Company SuperSport over their decision to terminate contract with Kenyan Premier League as the official broadcast partners of the country’s top tier league.
FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi says they are now waiting for a response from the South African broadcasters who have beamed KPL games live since the 2008 season.
“We have expressed our concerns to them in an official letter which was sent yesterday (Wednesday). Now we only wait to hear their response but we are hopeful a lasting solution will be found,” Muthomi told Capital Sport.
This came out after a meeting involving the league managers and club chairmen over the past few days geared towards getting the broadcasters back on board after they plunged the league into darkness last Friday.
“We have further made it clear to SuperSport that despite being the institution duly recognized to oversee all football activities in the country, we have not only delegated the mandate to commercially organise the top tier League to the KPL limited until the year 2020 but are also willing to provide any warrants that might be required to demonstrate the same,” FKF President Nick Mwendwa said after a meeting with KPL earlier in the week.
In their letter to KPL signed by their legal representative Philip Seleke last week, SuperSport explained their decision to terminate the contract was due to a breach of license agreement.
They had further questioned the ownership of the top tier basing their argument on the Sports Disputes Tribunal ruling that KPL was an agent of the FKF and not the direct owners of the league.
But the federation in its bid to unlock the stalemate has now told the broadcasters KPL can act on their behalf, something that might invite a change in heart from the sponsors.
This comes even as clubs led calls for the return of the broadcasters who ensured more talent was unearthed and noticed all over the continent by beaming matches from venues across the country.
“It is sad that SuperSport left. Most people don’t know about our players from upcountry and they gave us a platform to showcase our talent. If it is possible, I would really love them to reconsider their decision,” Sony Sugar head coach Salim Babu told Capital Sport.
His sentiments were shared by Western Stima’s Henry Omino who said the absence of the broadcasters might affect the quality of the league as well as marketability of players.
Meanwhile, KPL and the Federation have moved to mend frosty relations that have existed between the two since late last year when the fight over the expansion of the top tier started.
The first step has been the dropping of charges that had been instituted against KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier, his CEO Jack Oguda and Mathare United chair Bob Munro.
FKF had initiated judicial proceedings against the three over accusations of bringing the game into disrepute.
Mwendwa, after meeting with officials from FKF said they were willing to mend their relations with the league governing body with whom they have a contract to manage the country’s top tier until 2020.