Football Football

Battle looms as KPL stands by Sofapaka, Muhoroni

Sofapaka boss Elly Kalekwa disputed the FKF verdict to relegate them and Muhoroni from kpl.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3- The Kenyan Premier League has stood by Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka who were relegated from the top tier league by the Football Kenya Federation on Thursday after failing to meet club licensing requirements for the second time.

KPL Vice Chairman Ambrose Rachier has thrown a new spanner in the works saying in a letter that the two clubs will be in the 2017 season.

“This is to confirm that the above Kenyan Premier League clubs have not been relegated from the League and will continue to participate in the League during the 2017 season. This is in accordance with the agreement dated September 2015 entered between KPL and FKF as held valid by the Sports Tribunal,” the letter signed by Rachier noted.

This will open a new battle front with the federation who insisted they will implement the club licensing requirements to the latter and the new development might jeopardize the protracted February 11 kick off for the new season.

The two clubs have meanwhile reiterated that they will be in the league with Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa insisting the CAF licensing rule book does not state that clubs will be relegated.

“It is a good thing they are doing to ensure that clubs are run well. But these are not things that can be implemented in a day. There is nowhere in the FIFA or CAF rules which state that you will be relegated if you don’t get everything right. Promotion and demotion is on the field not in an office,” Kalekwa said as he reiterated his club will not back down.

He also confirmed that all players owed by the club have been paid adding they also deposited enough money in their bank account to show they can run the club comfortably.

“Sofapaka requires a budget of Sh80mn in a year and I am a person who can provide three times that. Sofapaka cannot run under. They told us to put Sh5mn in the account and we did that. This is just not club licensing. There are politics in here which we don’t want to play,” Kalekwa said.

“They say we have not paid players. I can confirm that by January 31 all our players were paid and we have evidence to that effect,” the Congolese businessman added.

Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

His sentiments were also shared by Muhoroni’s Moses Adagala who insisted his club was focused on getting ready ‘to win the 2017 KPL title’.

On the issue of non-payment of players’ salary arrears, Adagala offered that most of those who had chosen to leave the club were yet to clear loans borrowed from the club while others had not procedurally terminated their contracts.

“It is very clear in the contract that a player cannot give you a November notice and you have already paid their salary. There is some misunderstanding with my players on how they want to terminate their contracts. Also, someone cannot claim to want payment if they have terminated the contracts and have not returned the club’s equipment,” Adagala noted.

The KPL governing council is expected to convene another briefing on Monday on the same when they return from a trip to Germany.