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As ban hurts K'Ogalo and Ingwe, rival clubs in booming business

Football
 Tusker's Kevin Monyi jumps to reach ball before Caleb Olililo of Posta Rangers during FKF Premier League end season at Ruaraka grounds. June 12, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

As confusion and uncertainty continue to cloud the start of the 2022-2023 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League, clubs have been reinforcing their squads in anticipation of the new season.

The local football fraternity was thrown into confusion on Tuesday when troubled FKF President Nick Mwendwa led other officials to the Goal Project, Kandanda House in Kasarani and gained entry, over 10 months after they were kicked out by Sports CS Amina Mohamed.

The office has been locked since November 11 after Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed disbanded the Mwendwa-led federation over allegations of misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee to run football affairs for a period of six months. 

The caretaker was later transformed into a transition committee on June 17 with its term extended for another two months on August 15. 

What followed was the suspension of the country by world football governing body, Fifa, from all international football activities on March 31 citing government interference. 

Fifa said that they will only lift the suspension if the government revokes the appointment of the caretaker committee to run FK affairs and reopens the doors for the federation’s secretariat at Kasarani. 

During the period of suspension, both the relegation and promotion in the FKF Premier League will not be recognised by CAF/Fifa. 

“We expect Kenya’s suspension to be lifted in the next few days. Once it is lifted, Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets will be back in action in October. Our national teams and clubs have not played in international competitions for almost a year now because of few individuals who did what they did because they have power.”

“Our focus right now is to ensure the suspension is lifted. Once it is lifted, the rest will follow. But secondly, all leagues will officially kick off in a month’s time. We are meeting the Premier League clubs on Wednesday then NEC on Friday before writing a letter to Fifa,” said Mwendwa on Tuesday.

But according to Mohamed, the Kandanda House office was broken into by FKF officials, who were legally removed following an inspection of the office by the Sports Registrar. 

She said that her decision to disband the federation and appoint a caretaker committee has since been upheld by the ruling of the High Court of Kenya on May 10.

This begs the question; who is in charge and who will run the 2022-2023 FKF Premier League?

As Kenyans wait to see how thing will play out, already, a number of clubs have recruited new players in the transfer market with an eye on the title when the 2022/23 season begins.

However, as clubs continue to boost their squad, giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will be inactive in the transfer market as they are serving a Fifa ban for failing to pay accrued salary to their former players.

Instead, the two local giants have opted to reinforce their squads by promoting players from their respective youth teams to the senior squad.

Both Gor and AFC Leopards are banned from signing new players until January 2023.

 The Nairobian Sports takes you through the transfer business clubs have already done:

 Tusker

Defending champions Tusker will be seeking to win the league for a third time in a row this season after beefing up the squad with seven-new players.

 Last season, the bottlers caught the eye of many after 13 players arrived at the Ruaraka Den and 11 players who were instrumental to in the run to Robert Matano ending Gor Mahia’s four season dominance in 2020-2021 season.

After a slow start that saw many bash Matano for destroying a winning team, the new signings that included goalkeeper Patrick Matasi, defender Daniel Sakari, Shami Kibwana, Joseph Njuguna, Teddy Osok, Charles Momanyi, and Ibrahim Joshua, to mention but a few guided Tusker to their 13th Premier League title.

This season, Tusker who are now the second most successful club in the country were at it again after unveiled seven players at Ruaraka grounds earlier this month ahead of the new season.

The trio of Eric Mmata, Tom Teka and Boniface Onyango joined from Kariobangi Sharks, while custodian Brian Opondo, Erick Otieno and David Odoyo were acquired from Bidco United, Wazito and Green Commandos respectively.

 Eighteen-year old Collins ‘Kante’ Otieno has been promoted from the youth team.

Otieno follows in the footsteps of Erick Zakayo, Jimmy Mbugua and John Njuguna all of whom came from the junior ranks.

 Eugene Asike, Christopher Oruchum and Henry Meja have since left the club.

 Ernest Wendo [right]  of Gor Mahia and Ronny Otieno of   Bandari  in action during their friendly match at Mbaraki sports club in Mombasa.10th September 2022.[Omondi Onyango,Standard]

 Nairobi City Stars

 Naiorbi City Stars who finished fifth in their second consecutive season in the Premier League since their promotion in 2020 released 11 players ahead of the new campaign.

The list includes central defenders Salim Shitu Abdalla and Wycliffe Otieno, defensive midfielder Charles Otieno Oduro and forward Davis Agesa and striker Erick Ombija and Rodgers Okuse Okumu.

Others include former Gor Mahia striker Nicholas Kipkirui, Michael Madoya, John Kamau, Augustine Kuta, Lennox Ogutu, Kevin Chumsy Okumu and Sven Yidah.

Shitu, Chumsy, Wycliffe, Charles, Agesa, and Kamau will always be remembered for being part of the team that guided City Stars to Premier League promotion in 2020 while Ombija, Okuse, Sven, Kipkirui, Madoya, Lennox, and Kuta receive a pat on the back for making Simba wa Nairobi a stable team in the big boys league.

 “We take the earliest opportunity to thank the players that have run down their contracts for their tireless contribution to the club. They will always be part of our history and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors.” said club CEO Patrick Korir

 City Stars in the meantime have signed Cliford Ouma from Migori Youth, Newton Ochieng from Vapor Sports and Samuel Kapen onboards from Kibera Black Stars as 11 players resigned with the club after the expiry of their previous contracts.

Kenya Police

Kenya Police have beefed up their squad with four new players ahead of the new 2022-2023 Football Kenya Federation Premier League season set to kick off next month.

The four new players are expected to boost the team which finished 10th in the troubled 2021-2022 season that saw Tusker retain the title.

Police amassed 44 points, scoring 42 goals and conceding a whopping 35 goals also in the process.

To improve on their offensive game, the service men have roped in striker David Okoth who formerly played for last season’s runners up Kakamega Homeboyz.

Another addition to that, Police also signed Patilah Omoto who parted ways with Kariobangi Sharks earlier this month.

Reagan Otieno and Baraka Badi are the other two signings in attack and defensive responsibilities respectively.

Two player, namely Duke Abuya and Duncan Otieno, have so far left the law enforcers.

 Kakamega Homeboyz

 Last season’s runners-up Kakamega Homeboyz have also seen mass exodus of players since coach Benard Mwalala was fired two months ago. They include Brian Eshihanda, Gaetan Masha, Sylvester Owino, David Okoth, Evans Maliachi and Raymond Murugi. Okoth was the team’s top scorer last season with 12 goals, just four shy of league’s top scorer Derrick Otanga of KCB.

 Bandari

Bandari FC have signed up former AFC Leopards player Omar Somobwana, Felix Oluoch, Wilberforce Lugogo and Hamid Mohamed. The club has released Dennis Chetambe to KCB and Collins Agade who is still unattached.

 The dockers have also signed Mohammed Abeid from Coastal Heroes former Wazito player Fidel Origa.  

 Tusker FC are the champions of FKF Premier League 2022 season after defeating Posta Rangers 2-0 at Ruaraka grounds. June 12, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Sofapaka

Former champions Sofapaka have signed nine players and released over 10 player.

 Sofapaka have so far have announced that they have signed youngsters Ben Stanley and Lucky Musyoka from National Super League side Migori Youth.

Other players include teenage goalkeeper David Obasanjo, Samuel Olwande from Kariobangi Sharks, Ugandan internationals Davis Kasiyre and Mathias Kigonya, formerly with KCCA of Uganda and Azam FC of Tanzania and Kevin Okoth from Tusker.

Raphael Okeyo Asudi also joins from Bidco United alongside Baron Oketch from Biashara United.

Kariobangi Sharks

Kariobangi Sharks are rebuilding after losing more than 14 players. They include last season’s top scorer Felix Oluoch who joined Bandari last month.

Oluoch netted 13 times for Sharks last season. The others who have dumped the William Muluya-coached side are Alphonce Omija, Patilah Omoto, Ziyad Kiwanuka, Enock Wanyama, Brian Olang’o, Tom Teka, Douglas Mokaya and Brian Obiero.

The new players include Leonlevitt Otieno, a wingback, who joins from St.Josephs (Nakuru), Moses Shikanda from Division one side Green Commandos, Kevin Wangaya from Ligi Ndogo SC, Dan Guya from Sofapaka and Titus Kapchanga forward joins from Nzoia Sugar.

Others include Paul Odhiambo from Dimba Patriots, Kevin Luke Otiala from St.Joseph’s FC (Nakuru) and  Gedion Ogweno from Kenya Police.

 

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