NAIROBI, Kenya, January 28 – The tussle surrounding the 2015 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) expansion has taken a new twist with KPL categorically stating they will not accept Football Kenya Federation’s (FKF) plans to expand the league to 18 teams.
This comes even as KPL walked off a meeting with FKF yesterday after the latter failed to make available the FIFA consultant’s report which has been in their custody since November 20 according to a directive from FIFA.
“We are yet to receive the FIFA consultant’s report and without it we cannot hold any talks with FKF. We were supposed to meet with FKF yesterday but when our conditions of making the report available were not met, we had to call it off,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport.
In a statement posted on the club’s official website, KPL say the resort to have the status quo remain is non-negotiable and they went on to say they will progress with their plans to start the league on February 21, interestingly saying the current 16 teams will play in the 2015 season.
“On relegation and promotion, the members agreed to maintain the present status quo and 16 KPL shareholders until the legitimacy of the proposed two promoted clubs is confirmed,” the statement read.
This means Nairobi City Stars and Nakuru All Stars who were relegated last season will remain in the league.
KPL had questioned Shabana’s promotion to the premier league, pointing out various malpractices saying; “In compliance with Article 18, on January 9th KPL submitted a dossier to the Investigatory Chamber with over 100 pages of documentation on serious irregularities in the FKF National Super League,”
FKF is set to hold an SGM on Friday in Bungoma and this is definitely set to blow up the recent wars with FKF expected to ratify the new league format and the four promoted teams.
KPL say they will not listen to any suggestions to expand the league pointing out; “The KPL Governing Council met on Saturday, January 24 and unanimously confirmed that the League will have 16 teams in 2015 and, for later years, that KPL will only consider proposals to reduce the number of teams.”
According to a letter obtained by Capital Sport, FIFA had sent a letter instructing KPL to share Robert Niemann’s report with KPL believing the report supported their arguments and thus the reason FKF were not ready to share it with them.
In the letter signed by FIFA secretary General Jerome Valcke, FIFA said; “We refer to the enclosed correspondence dated January 23 from KPL, the contents of which we are surprised to receive,” read Valcke’s letter to the FKF President Sam Nyamweya.
“… As clearly communicated to all concerned parties during the meetings, the independent expert consultant’s report was enclosed in correspondence sent to your offices January 20 2015. This same correspondence requested FKF to disseminate the report to the necessary parties including KPL…. In view of the above we kindly inform you of your expectation that FKF will make the report available to the necessary parties immediately and without further delay,”
“We were all party to the discussions and therefore have a right to look at the report. So before we get it and read its contents, we are not holding any more talks with FKF,” Oguda declared.
-FKF persist on 18-team-
In a rejoinder, FKF vowed to continue with the 18-team league format, going ahead to set February 14 as the kick-off day for the league that will be known as Football Kenya Federation League.
“It is unfortunate that KPL have gone ahead and issued media reports to the effect that they have no interest in engaging in dialogue over this matter.
“We have there for directed that the premier league shall henceforth be known as the Football Kenya Premier League, comprising 18 teams from2015 to be run by participating clubs. FKF has already secured a sponsor for the FKF Premier League for the 2015 season and beyond, guaranteeing each participating club Sh9m as annual grant,” a statement from FKF read.
It wend on to say, “The FKF Premier League shall be the only officially recognized top-flight league in Kenya in compliance with FIFA/CAF/FKF Statutes. These resolutions will be presented to the delegates at the Special General Meeting scheduled for Friday, January 30 for ratification; the general meeting being the supreme organ of Football Kenya Federation.”
“All football clubs, who are our members, are hereby advised accordingly and further communication will be sent to them in due course,” the statement signed by FKF president Sam Nyamweya directed.