NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – If both finish within the top three National Super League (NSL) promotion slots, whoever finishes lower than the other between Western Stima and Nairobi Stima faces the possibility of missing out on ascending to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
According to FIFA statutes, the two, both sponsored by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) cannot play in the top tier at the same time.
Article 20 of the FIFA Statutes states; “Every member association shall ensure that its affiliated clubs can take all decisions on any matters regarding membership independently of any external body. This obligation applies regardless of an affiliated club’s corporate structure.”
“In any case, the member association shall ensure that neither a natural nor a legal person (including holding companies and subsidiaries) exercises control in any manner whatsoever (in particular through a majority shareholding, a majority of voting rights, a majority of seats on the board of directors or any other form of economic dependence or control, etc.) over more than one club whenever the integrity of any match or competition could be jeopardized.”
With this statute, it would be impossible to have the two teams playing in the same league if at all it is proved that both share a similar shareholding or economic dependence on one entity.
“It was the same case sometimes back when Mathare United and Mathare Youth played in the KPL. They had to prove beyond doubt that the two were separate entities. According to that FIFA Statute, Western, Nairobi and Coast Stima should not even be playing in the NSL together. Probably if there is a proof that the two are not sharing the same sponsorship structure then that’s okay,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport.
Meanwhile, Football Kenya federation who run the second tier NSL say they have referred the matter to the legal department which should be giving them a response soon.
“We are aware of the issue and we have the legal team handling that. They should be getting back to us on the position. I cannot pre-empt on anything at this point until further advised by the legal team,” FKF Head of Communications Barry Otieno noted.
Currently, Western Stima who were relegated from the top tier at the close of last season sit at the apex of the standings with 70 points, seven ahead of second placed KCB who have played a match less. Nairobi Stima are third with 62.
Western Stima and KCB made the most of slip ups from their fellow promotion chasers over the weekend, the power-men winning by a solitary goal against Nairobi City Stars at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Sunday.
KCB who are seeking a return to top flight after two seasons in the lower cadre picked a priceless 2-1 win over Kenya Police at the Camp Toyoyo Grounds with head coach Elvis Ayanya confident they can rack up promotion.
“It was a tough match but getting three points was a huge reprieve for us. We need to take a match at a time and give our all and I am certain we will earn that promotion slot,” Ayany, a former Ulinzi Stars midfielder said.
Meanwhile, Nairobi Stima slipped to third after being held to a barren draw away to Bidco United. Ushuru failed to take advantage of the slip up playing to a similar score-line against Kangemi All Stars on Sunday.
The top two finishers in the league earn automatic slots in next season’s Premier League while the third placed team will face the 16th placed team from the KPL in a play-off.
NSL Weekend Results
Administration Police 1-2 Green Commandos (Camp Toyoyo)
Bidco United 0-0 Nairobi Stima (Thika Stadium)
Kisumu All-Stars 0-0 Migori Youth (Moi Stadium)
KCB 2-1 Kenya Police (Camp Toyoyo)
Western Stima 1-0 City Stars (Moi Stadium)
Modern Coast Rangers 2-1 Kibera Black Stars (Mbaraki Sports Club)
Nakuru All-Stars 0-1 Coast Stima (Afraha Stadium)
Talanta 2-2 GFE 105 (Camp Toyoyo)
Ushuru 0-0 Kangemi All-Stars (Camp Toyoyo)