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KPL threaten to pull plug on Leopards over Zuku deal

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AFC-FANSNAIROBI, Kenya, June 21- AFC Leopards have until Monday to sever ties with Wananchi Programming Limited (Zuku TV) or face the axe from the Kenyan Premier League following an emergency governing council meeting on Friday.

According to a statement from KPL, the Ingwe deal with the local rival to broadcast sponsors SuperSport that was announced last month has “already begun undermining the marketing rights of clubs in a view of the reduced television coverage of matches involving AFC Leopards SC.”

Following the Governing Council meeting held at a Nairobi hotel, Leopards have been directed to pull the plug on their agreement with Zuku to produce a documentary programme named Ingwe TV by Monday 5pm or they will not be permitted to participate in KPL matches.

“Further, AFC Leopards SC must immediately confirm, also in writing, that they shall not continue engaging with Wananchi Programming Limited/Zuku TV on the broadcasting rights,” the statement added.

According to KPL, Ingwe’s agreement with Zuku had brought serious recriminations with their South Africa based broadcast sponsors, SuperSport who have already removed Leopards matches from their roster.

“As we go to press, SuperSport have undertaken other more serious measures against KPL without revoking the License Agreement altogether,” the statement signed by the league management body’s chairman, James Musyoki explained.

“In all meetings held between AFC Leopards SC officials and KPL, Leopards promised to comply. However, they have not complied by suspending its activities with Zuku.

“KPL therefore, delayed in exercising its rights in line with its spirit of encouraging unanimity in its decision making. On the other hand, SuperSport has objected to the action by Leopards to grant secondary broadcasting rights and has stated clearly that they shall cite KPL for breach and potentially interpret any breach and enforce any further action,” KPL stressed.

They argue that meetings held by concerned parties on May 21 and 29 did not yield the desired outcome with Leopards taking the position that they construed their obligations under KPL/SuperSport as to allow them to enter into secondary broadcasting agreements with other parties.

Leopards are scheduled to kick off their second leg of this season’s KPL campaign against 2009 champions Sofapaka in the highlight fixture of the weekend at Nairobi’s City Stadium on Saturday.

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