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Folded fists for FKF, KPL over league ending

FKF President Nick Mwendwa says there is no money to pay the Harambee Stars head coach. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are set for another round of bare-knuckled blows after the latter’s decision to end all seven tiers of Kenyan football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Federation president Nick Mwendwa announced the decision to call off football on Thursday, including the top tier managed by KPL Limited.

“We are in lockdown until May 16. We don’t know if the President will extend it but for sure no football will be played in May and possibly the whole of June. We need at least six weekends for the remaining 11 matches to play. But we also need teams back to training and given at least two to three weeks in order to play again,” Mwendwa said while supporting his decision.

He added; “You need at least 10 weeks to execute the league and after that you need 60 days for pre-season which is two months. Essentially, you need 16 weekends before next season, time which is not available.”

FKF President Nick Mwendwa backed by members of the National Executive Committee addresses the press at the FKF Headquarters on February 7, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We must end the league now then in June and July use that for pre-season with readiness for the new season on August 7th, if by that time we will be ready to play even if behind closed doors.”

-KPL not happy-

And that decision has not gone down well with the league managers who have in turn asked the Federation to furnish them with minutes of the meeting that came with that decision, opening a new battlefront between the two old age rivals.

“KPL who has the legal mandate to run the league would wish to be furnished with the minutes of the meeting which deliberated upon the matter in question with the subsequent resolution already conveyed to the public by FKF. Your kind and quick response will enable KPL Governing Council to convene and internalize the decision so far communicated.”

“For avoidance of doubt this is to bring to your attention that KPL will not be party to such decisions that is contemptuous with the SDT ruling delivered on the 17th March, 2020,” KPL said in a statement signed by CEO Jack Oguda.

The league managers had earlier written to the Federation after reports emerged they were going to end the season with champions decided by the standings as at mid-season.

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KPL have continued to insist that they are legally mandated to run the top-flight and are protected by an agreement signed in 2009, shielding them from any interruptions by third parties.

Kenyan Premier League representatives consult with lawyer Geoffrey Obura (left) during a meeting at the Sports Disputes Tribunal on January 26, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“The FKF-KPL Agreement mandates KPL the right to run the league until September 24, 2020. There is still sufficient time till then to have the league played to the end barring any directives from CAF or the Government of Kenya which can deny teams a sporting chance to determine their fate.”

“As stipulated in Clause 2 (a) of the FKF-KPL Agreement, which states, “to ensure KPL as the owner thereof has the exclusive, full and unhindered right to manage the Kenyan Premier League in accordance with the rules and regulations of KPL, FKF, CAF and FIFA”, as well as Clause 2 (d) of the same agreement which states, “to ensure there is no undue interference by FKF or other officials or third parties with KPL management of the Kenyan Premier League”, FKF is obligated to respect KPL’s mandate of running the Kenyan Premier League.”

The league managers have been at war with the Federation and this was all escalated to nasty levels when FKF increased the size of the league from a 16-team league to 18 teams.

Since then, relations between the two have been abrasive and FKF have not hidden the fact that they will take away the mandate to run the league from the Oguda-led team and tranfer all functions to it’s headquarters at Kandanda House in Kasarani.

In FKF’s stance, Gor will be declared champions as until all first leg games were played, they led the standings ahead of Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz.

Nairobi City Stars Ezekiel Odera with a teammate. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.

In the NSL, City Stars and Bidco will be promoted with the Kawangware based side declared champions while third placed Vihiga United who led Nairobi Stima by goal difference will contest Kisumu All Stars in the play-off.

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