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FKF, KPL finally agree cost of 18-team league

FKF Lawyer Ken Ochieng makes a point at the Sports Disputes Tribunal as his KPL counterpart Geoffrey Obura listens on January 24, 2017.PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30- Finally, Football Kenya Federation and the Kenyan Premier League have agreed on the costs of adding two more teams into the top tier league, a burden that will be borne by the federation.

After a meeting between finance committees from both sides, a final figure of Sh38mn was reached at, with the first meeting mediated by the Sports Disputes Tribunal last week having primarily settled for a rough figure in the region of Sh36mn.

“We had an agreement after the final meeting and everything is now sorted. We will put in an extra Sh38mn to fund the two extra clubs and we have committed to do that. So from this season, we shall have 18 teams in the Premier League,” Football Kenya Federation Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi said.

The costs will cover the monthly grants for the two new teams Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt FC as well as referee costs, operational costs and the financial implications on the other 16 clubs following an additional four matches each.

“Apart from ceding our license fee from KPL, we are talking to our various sponsors and also look at our own accounts so that we give out that money annually,” Muthomi added.

The consensus finally brings to rest the issue of expanding the league which first came to fore under the regime of Sam Nyamweya in 2015.

The new administration under Nick Mwendwa pressed on with the desire to expand the top tier but an injunction by KPL from the tribunal stopped the discussion of the same during last year’s Annual General Meeting.

But, the tribunal ruled that it was in FKF’s jurisdiction to determine the number of teams in the league and ordered the two bodies to sit and agree on the modalities. Having failed to agree on the financial modalities at first, the tribunal chose to mediate and had the ground breaking meeting last Friday going well above four hours.

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

Meanwhile, the exact number of teams for this season’s league will be known on Wednesday after the FKF Club Licensing Committee makes its verdict on the documents re-submitted by Muhoroni Youth, Thika United and Sofapaka.

The three clubs were given a second chance to submit their documents after their initial papers were rejected having failed to meet the legal and financial criteria of the licensing rules.

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“At the moment we can’t say exactly what will happen because the deadline is tomorrow. On Wednesday we will know the way forward. Maybe it will be 18, maybe less,” Muthomi noted.

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