NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) officials will have a final meeting on Thursday, under the facilitation of the Sports Disputes Tribunal to strike a deal over the expansion of the top tier league to an 18-team format.
This is after KPL, through their lawyer Geoffrey Obura informed the Tribunal that sponsors Supersport and SportPesa have agreed to waive the confidentiality clauses in their contracts to reveal the monetary figures in the contracts.
“At first, the third parties were reluctant but my client (KPL) managed to convince them and we only got the waiver yesterday (Monday) evening. We couldn’t have a meeting before coming here because it was such a short time,” Obura informed the Tribunal.
Tribunal chairman John Ohaga had instructed KPL to seek a waiver from the sponsors after they informed them they had signed confidentiality clauses that would bar third parties from accessing the contracts.
FKF had said they would agree to cater for the financial costs of two extra teams but they would only fully accept the responsibility if they got to know the exact amount KPL gets from both Supersport who are the broadcast sponsors and SportPesa, the title sponsors.
As part of the final deal arrived after two Joint Executive Committee meetings, FKF said they would forego their annual affiliation fee from KPL and top up the extras in order to finance the two new clubs in the league.
After the two previous meetings, KPL and FKF had agreed on a Sh38mn figure though KPL brought in a further Sh31mn which was disputed by the federation, bringing to the total amount to Sh69mn.
“We are running out of time because we are still going over the same thing. The Tribunal is getting very impatient and football loving Kenyans are also impatient because this is a matter that has been running for too long,” Ohaga said while adding he expects a final decision to be reached by Thursday.
Obura appearing for KPL and Ken Ochieng’ for FKF also promised the Tribunal the two parties would meet before Thursday to come up with a consensus before the final meeting.
With the league set to kick off on February 11, the Tribunal is expected to fast track the process to be concluded in time.
On the same Thursday FKF and KPL will be meeting, the FKF appeals board will be deliberating and ruling on an appeal filed by Muhoroni Youth, Thika United and Sofapaka over their relegation from the top tier league after failing to meet club licensing requirements.
The ruling of the same is also expected to affect the start of the league with Muhoroni Youth being particular they will head to the Sports Tribunal if they are not reinstated back to the league.
FKF maintained the 2017 season will only have the 15 teams who have complied with the FIFA/CAF club licensing requirements.