NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Kenya Premier League (KPL) clubs have hit out at Harambee Stars coach Antoine Hey for dropping their players from the squad over the controversial commitment letters.KPL chairman Gabriel Otiende told Capital Sport on Wednesday that Football Kenya Limited (FKL) and Hey should stop running Kenyan football like a “private club” and should instead involve the clubs in the smooth running of the national squad.
“If they decide to drop all the players, then that is their problem not ours. Our position remains that we come up with a harmonized training programme that will benefit both the national team and the clubs,” said Otiende.
“We don’t have a grudge against FKL. What were asking for is just co-operation between ourselves and them for the benefit of the team,” said Otiende.
Otiende echoed the sentiments of Youth and Sports Affairs Professor Helen Sambili calling for vast consultations amongst the stakeholders.
“Premier League clubs have noted, support and welcome the increasing appeals in the media, by the Minister of Youth and Sports, and the football fraternity as a whole that meetings be held involving FKL, Hey, KPL and concerned clubs to agree on a professional plan for Harambee Stars,” said Otiende.
Otiende reiterated that the clubs will continue to avail their players to train for the national side but will not append their signatures to the controversial letters.
“While declining to sign such a vague, unnecessary and meaningless letter, our clubs announced publicly ten days ago that we had agreed to their excessive demands and will voluntarily release our players from Monday to Thursday every week this month and full time from June 1-21 for a likely world record setting total of 35 days,” he added.
The club’s refusal to sign the letters led to seven players being sent home from Kasarani with Hey stating that he will only work with players who are disciplined and have the interests of the country at heart.
There are currently 17 players at Kasarani who will break camp on Thursday to return to their clubs for this weekend’s premier league matches.