NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15- Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa has said he will continue lobbying for an 18-team Kenyan Premier League next season despite the KPL management through the Sports Disputes Tribunal stopping discussion of the same during FKF’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday.
The KPL management went to the Tribunal on Friday and obtained temporary orders stopping the ratification of the 18-team league for 2017 pending a full hearing on November 8.
“The move was malicious. Why wait for two days, one day to go to court? The NEC in February wrote to KPL said and said we want to implement our wish to have 18 teams in the top league starting 2017. They have kept quiet since then and they have shown up in court now,” the FKF President said.
“Football is about inclusivity. We are asking for expansion so that we can include more clubs. It is the last item remaining in our jewel and if we can agree on it then we are good to go. I am persuading them to go back and consider our request to have 18 teams. We shall not rest and to make sure next year this decision is implemented,” Mwendwa added.
Earlier, KPL CEO Jack Oguda speaking to Capital Sport had accused the Federation of failing to respect an MoU signed last year giving the jurisdiction of managing the affairs of the top tier to a Joint Executive Committee.
Meanwhile, the AGM ratified a decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to suspend some members of Extreme Sports Limited for organizing an unsanctioned tournament.
This came just a few minutes after the Federation through their lawyer was served with an injunction obtained by Extreme Sports Limited, stopping the AGM from discussing issues about Extreme Sports and the CEO Hussein Mohammed.
Mwendwa then went on to explain they would not discuss the two but the AGM would go on and ratify a decision to suspend members and officials of the organization.
The NEC had previously set the suspension duration as six years, but it was later revised to give the National Executive leeway to decide the period, but not more than six years after the issue was raised by Sony Sugar chairman Paul Orato.
The decision to suspend individuals who take part in the Extreme Sports League was reached by the FKF NEC on August 21.
Sixty five delegates voted for the suspension, five against while seven abstained from the vote.
Among those hit with the suspension include Extreme Sports General Manager Athanus Obango Obala as well as former top tier referees Amos Ichingwa, Michael Iluve, Judy Wamoro, Juma Turke and Beth Wambui.
“From last year, this company created a league outside the Federation. I personally with the Secretary General went to this company and told them we would like to work together within federation structures,” Mwendwa offered.
“We said we would allow their league to continue this year and offered that next year we give them all 20 branches to sponsor and work with those elected. They refused this offer.”
“We have spent six months negotiating with Extreme Sports and now they have gone to court. We are left with no choice.”
At the same, former FKF president Sam Nyamweya is claiming a Sh30.8mn reimbursement from the current office, according to the financial statements presented to the 4th FKF Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday.
The claim is listed as part of ‘local borrowings’ which also has a sum of Sh1.7mn from current president Mwendwa’s Information Technology company Riverbank Solutions and a further Sh2mn from Supermarket chain Nakumatt Holdings.
However, the current FKF office says they will not reimburse the money as the same cannot be substantiated.
“There are no documents supporting the Sh30mn claim and until we get the same, then we cannot just reimburse money. As a new office we decided to do things differently and every money that comes in or goes out has to be documented. So until the same is substantiated, then we cannot just reimburse any monies,” Mwendwa told the AGM.
“I am not convinced about that amount because there is no supporting evidence about how the money was spent,” FKF auditing officer Nelson Otieno told the AGM.
There was also an issue of a vehicle handed to Nyamweya’s office by his predecessor Mohammed Hattimy, valued at Sh1mn which could however not be accounted for as Mwendwa and his team said it was never handed to them.