Football Football

18 teams for 2017 KPL season, says Mwendwa

FKF President Nick Mwendwa during the press conference.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
FKF President Nick Mwendwa during the press conference.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10- Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa has confirmed that the 2017 Kenyan Premier League season will have 18 teams with four being promoted from the second tier National Super League and two demoted from the top flight league.

There had been discussions between the federation and the KPL management over the implementation of the same and speaking to Capital Sport, Mwendwa confirmed that it’s all systems go for an 18-team context next season.

“We have had discussions with the relevant bodies and made agreements that we will have 18 teams in the top league next season. I think it is something good for our game and will give more opportunities to our talented players across the country,” Mwendwa said.

KPL CEO Jack Oguda who is currently out of the country said the Governing Council would be meeting later on to finalize.

The expansion of the top tier league was a subject of controversy at the start of the 2015 season with KPL against an 18-team format propagated by then FKF boss Sam Nyamweya.

Mwendwa has also confirmed that in the pipeline is a change in calendar to align with the European format.

“It is also something that we are considering but we cannot go into it straight away. We can’t change so many things at once. We will look at it and discuss ways of implementing slowly and hopefully, we can have it sometime,” Mwendwa noted.

Five matches remain in the KPL with City Stars, Sofapaka, Ushuru and Thika United fighting out to stay afloat.

In the 20-team second tier, 11 games remain before the curtains close on the season with unbeaten Nzoia United, Nakumatt FC, Kariobangi Sharks FC and Zoo Kericho occupying the top four slots.

Vihiga United, KCB and Bidco United also stand a chance of fighting for one of the four available promotion slots.

There will be eight matches lined up on Wednesday as the fight for promotion intensifies with the biggest midweek clashes pitting Vihiga United and Kariobangi Sharks at the Mumias Complex while KCB take on Nzoia United at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi.