NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14- The Kenyan Premier League management has moved to the Sports Tribunal to seek an interpretation of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between them and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over the expansion of the top tier league to 18 teams.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa told Capital Sport last week that there was an agreement for an 18-team league next season but KPL has now said they were never consulted in coming up with the decision.
“We want the tribunal to interpret for us the MoU we signed last year because as far as we are concerned it is a Joint Executive Committee Meeting which is supposed to make any decision pertaining to the League. We were not consulted in the decision,” KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier revealed.
FKF is set to hold its first Annual Genberal Meeting (AGM) under the new administration on Saturday and the ratification of the 18-team league proposal has been listed on the agenda.
“We are expecting the tribunal to make its ruling on Friday and we hope it will be to our favor. The MoU is very clear that matters of promotion and demotion will be decided by the Joint Executive Committee and their announcement that next season will have 18 teams was new to us,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda added.
There was a similar turf war between the two bodies at the start of last season which led to mediation talks led by Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi, leading to the birth of the Joint Executive Committee and the drawing of the MoU.
KPL insists that the details of the agreement have to be kept to the latter, accusing the Federation of bypassing them and lacking respect for laid out agreements.
The league’s governing council met on September 19 and followed up with another on October 3 to discuss the implications of the decision by FKF.
Oguda now says if the same goes through to the AGM tomorrow, then all 16 KPL clubs will oppose the move to expand the league. Among the issues KPL addressed against expanding the league including financial issues, having negotiated sponsorship agreements between league Sponsors SportPesa and broadcast partners Supersport on a platform of 16 teams only.
Already, FKF had said two teams will be demoted from the top tier and a four promoted from the second tier National Super League.
The news was music to the ears of NSL clubs who now see an extra opportunity to get into the Premier League.
KCB who were relegated last season and currently placed sixth on the NSL standings is one of the teams elated with the decision.
“It is their prerogative to know the number of teams to be promoted and ours is to play on the pitch. But at the same time, I support the decision to have 18 teams in the top league because it will give more opportunities to players from the grassroot and we hope as a team we can squeeze into the top four,” KCB head coach Leonard Saleh said.