Football Football

Thika, Muho, Sofapaka appeals to be heard Thursday

FKF President Nick Mwendwa announces that Thika, Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth will not take part in the 2017 KPL season. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – The Football Kenya Federation appeals board will on Thursday have a hearing for the appeals filed by Thika United, Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka who were relegated from the Kenyan Premier League over failure to meet the strict club licensing requirements.

The three clubs were relegated on January 10 after failing to meet the financial and legal criteria of the licensing rules set out by world football governing body FIFA and continental body CAF, but appealed the decision within the 14-day window provided.

“I cannot disclose exact details of the appeals, but our board will have a sitting on Thursday, deliberate on the matter and make a ruling promptly so that we know the way forward,” FKF CEO Robert Muthomi told Capital Sport.

His Kenyan Premier League counterpart Jack Oguda has also confirmed they have received a written communication from the federation over the issue. With the league set to begin on February 11, the fixtures will only be confirmed after the decision of the appeals board.

FKF had confirmed that only 15 teams who had fully complied with the licensing requirements will take part in the 2017 KPL season.  Apart from the remaining 11 KPL clubs and the two promoted from the second tier, Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho were also drafted in the 15.

Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala remains confident the club will play in the KPL next season citing politics as the reason his club was struck out.

FKF CEO Robert Muthomi (right) exchanges pleasantries with Muhoroni Youth chair Moses Adagala. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“As far as I am concerned, we have met all the requirements needed and these are just politics. I am confident we are playing in the league next season and the preparations for the players are geared for the same,” said Adagala.

He has also hinted he will move to the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) if his side is not reinstated after the appeal.

Meanwhile, the tribunal is expected to mediate the long standing difference between KPL and FKF over the expansion of the top tier league to 18 teams.

The two sides will report back to the tribunal on Tuesday afternoon after KPL failed to get a waiver from sponsors SportPesa and Supersport to avail copies of their contracts to the federation.

Last week, FKF who had agreed to meet the extra costs of adding two more teams to the league demanded to have copies of the contracts so as to know the exact financial needs of adding two extra teams.

Sports Disputes Tribunal chairman John Ohaga. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KPL on their side said they could not avail the contracts as they had signed a non-disclosure clause with both. The tribunal through Chairman John Ohaga asked KPL to get a waiver from the sponsors on the non-disclosure clause.

“We asked both (Supersport and SportPesa) but they declined. Supersport said they cannot give out the contract but are ready to make the financial bit of it known. SportPesa totally declined but we are still waiting to see after writing to them for a second time,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport.

The two sides had a meeting last week where there was an agreement to have an 18-team league but the sticky issue of finance is threatening to scuttle the whole process.

KPL had made an approximation of Sh69mn as the cost of two extra teams but only Sh38mn was agreed upon with FKF.