NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30 – It’s now official 2015 season will have parallel leagues after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) went ahead to ratify the new league changes, including the expansion to 18 teams at their Special General Meeting (SGM) on Friday in Kakamega County.
This comes two days after Kenyan Premier League (KPL) walked off a meeting with FKF following the latter’s failure to make available the FIFA consultant’s report which has been in their custody since November 20 according to a directive from FIFA.
At the SGM FKF resolved that Football Kenya Federation league shall be a seven-tier structure with the FKF premier league as the elite league run and managed by the Participating Clubs.
“Beginning 2015, the league shall be known as the Football Kenya Premier League, comprising 18 teams, run and managed by participating clubs under a Company Limited by Guarantee known as FKF Premier League Limited. The clubs shall elect their chairman, with FKF playing the role of oversight. The FKF Premier League clubs to get Sh9million annually as direct grants,” part of the statement from the federation read.
“As provided for by Articles 78 & 79 of the FKF Constitution, as well as Articles 78 & 79 of FIFA Statutes on Rights In competitions and Events , FKF owns all rights, which are domiciled and emanating from all football competitions and is exclusively responsible for their distribution and/or dissemination.
By invocation of this, FKF has with immediate effect withdrawn all such rights from KPL. The Kenyan Football calendar season to run from August -May, with the implementation date being 2016,” the communication continued.
This comes even as FIFA in a letter to the federation say they have given FKF the leeway to ‘look for a local solution’ after the latter protested a report on the matter put out by FIFA’s independent consultant Robert Niemann.
In a letter addressed to the FKF secretary general Michael Esakwa, FIFA’s Jerome Valcke has defended the report forwarded by Niemann, saying they do not doubt his bias even in the midst of FKF’s accusation Niemann overstepped his mandate.
FIFA say; “We inform you that in our view, the report is objective as well as fair and that we do not have reason to doubt the neutrality of the consultant.”
“Once FKF confirm that the report has been provided to all concerned parties, including KPL as agreed, FIFA’s support in the process to find an amicable solution on whether participants for the 2015 KPL season should be 16 or 18 clubs will have come to an end.”
“This is particularly the case since after issuing the report FKF’s position is now that a solution can be found locally. We wish you well in finding a local solution.”
The latest wordings from FIFA now mean all mandate rests on FKF to find a solution with the federation already having made decisions to run the league themselves.
This develops even as both Nakumatt FC and Kakamega Homeboyz who are the ‘extra additions’ to the league say they will take legal action in any case they will not play in top flight this year.
Nakumatt team manager Ben Achieng told Capital Sport; “We have spent so much money to buy players and prepare the team for the new season and therefore we cannot be told we will not play in the league. If that happens, then we will have to go to court,” he said.
“We have a letter from the federation informing us of our promotion and therefore we are relaxed and going on with our business knowing we will be in the league this year,” he added.
This comes as KPL representatives met the cabinet secretary of sports Dr. Hassan Wario in a bid to argue out their case even as they maintain their league will have a 16-team league.