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Gor Mahia FC winger Boniface Omondi celebrates scoring against Tusker FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on August 31, 2019. Gor Mahia FC won 5-2. Photo/KPL

Features

FKF calls off leagues: What clubs are saying

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa caught everyone by surprise on Thursday afternoon when he announced that the entire 2019/20 season across all seven tiers of football had been called off due to the coronavirus.

In his decision, Mwendwa said that league standings as at mid-season will be used to pick champions, teams to be relegated and promoted

And now, the move has elicited mixed reaction with a majority of Kenyan Premier League Clubs (KPL) including the league managers objecting to the decision.

Here are the reactions from across board:

Ambrose Rachier, KPL, Gor Mahia chairman

I would like to reserve my comments as at now because I am wearing two hats as both the chairman of Gor Mahia and KPL. Making any comment as at now would be a conflict of interest.

Johnstone Sakwa, NSL Governing Council, Bidco Chair:

As at now, we have not received any formal communication from FKF regarding the same. We had a meeting via Zoom yesterday (Wednesday) where we discussed all options available. We have stakeholders and sponsors and there is so much at stake. I have communicated to the president and CEO and they have promised to share a written communication.

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Patrick Korir, Nairobi City Stars CEO, NSL governing council vice chair

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad because of the promotion because I had really waited for that game that we would win and confirm our place in the KPL. We had our governing council meeting last night where we discussed all options and we had asked the Federation not to be in a rush to cancel the season, but give a chance after the curfew is lifted. However, we are still waiting on official communication.

Dan Shikanda, AFC Leopards chairman

AFC Leopards hurdle together for a prayer before a training session at the Kenya Technical Trainers’ Institute on March 4, 2020. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

It is not a good decision. The worst decision would have been to cancel the season. We should play and if we can’t play then the league should be annulled. If the league would be ending by mid-season then Tusker FC deserves the title because they were leading by the time we got to mid-season. Games at hand should not count for Gor.

We don’t understand what is the hurry for FKF to make the decision. We are consulting with other members of KPl to get the way forward.

Daniel Aduda, Tusker FC chairman

I think the Federation should make it clear the arithmetic they used because we were leading at the end of the first leg. I really would not have wanted us to finish the season in controversy because it would not look good when we are looking for sponsors.

The best way for FKF would have been to engage the KPL and agree on an amicable solution.

Moses Adagala, Chemelil Sugar co-owner

It is a ridiculous decision because KPL is run by its stakeholders which are the clubs. There is no way the chairman of FKF can declare champions. It is up to the governing council to decide. We are reaching out to the chair Mr. Rachier so that we know the way forward.

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Cleophas Shimanyula, Kakamega Homeboyz chair

Kakamega Homeboyz forward Benjamin Oketch celebrates with his teammates after scoring late to hand them a win over Nzoia Sugar at the Bukhungu Stadium on March 1, 2020. PHOTO/Courtesy Fabian Odhiambo

I absolutely do not support the decision to call off the season. It is baffling that the FKF Shield has not been cancelled as well. I have nothing against Gor Mahia but they should win the title in the right way. This is not right.

As Homeboyz we will fight this decision and we are going to discuss and give a way forward in the coming days.

Nicholas Muyoti, Kakamega Homeboyz coach

I totally disagree with the decision. All teams in the top four had a good chance to battle for the title. Nine or 10 matches in a season can make a lot of difference not just for the championship but also the teams facing relegation.

Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo, Posta Rangers head coach

I agree with the decision because honestly, I don’t see football resuming soon. There are rules from FKF and FIFA that the Federation has used to end the season. I think it is a good decision.

Salim Babu, Western Stima coach

I am not in agreement with the decision at all. Instead of stopping it and declaring some champions, it would have been better to cancel the season entirely. That would have been fair to start afresh. Some teams have struggled to remain in the league and the remaining games would have made a difference.

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