FKF TAKES FIRM STAND: As joint executive committee meet to deliberate on league size

By Gilbert Wandera: Thursday, January 12th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
City Stars Peter Mwangi, left, run with the ball past Francis Kahata of Gor Mahia during KPL match at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday 24, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) says the composition of the top tier league will not change next season despite a court ruling allowing discussions on how to expand the competition.

Both FKF and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) have picked their representatives to discuss the modalities of an 18-team league. The two parties will meet on Friday morning.

The federation has picked its president Nick Mwendwa, vice-president Doris Petra and Chris Amimo. KPL will be represented by its chairman James Musyoki, Ambrose Rachier and Bob Munro.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, FKF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Muthomi said only 15 teams will take part in the league this season as announced by the federation on Monday.

“The talks will, therefore, be about the size and composition of the 2018 league. The 15 teams that got the license are the ones that will take part in the 2017 top tier league because we cannot allow those who have not been licensed to participate,” he said.

As per the federation, AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia, Kakamega Homeboyz, Chemelil, Posta Rangers, Western Stima, Mathare United, Sony, Nakumatt, Zoo Kericho, Kariobangi Sharks and Nzoia Sugar are eligible to be in the KPL next season.

Three clubs Muhoroni Youth, Thika United and Sofapaka failed to get the license and risk missing out on the top flight football. The clubs have a two-week period to appeal the decision failure to which they will be locked out.

According to KPL Chief Executive Jack Oguda, Tuesday’s ruling on the composition of the league ensured that the rule of law was applied.

“We are ready to talk with FKF and see how best we can adhere to what the Court ruled. We feel the rule of law was applied as we wanted and hope to have the best way forward,” he said.

Asked about the fate of the three relegated clubs, Oguda said it is up to the affected teams to take up the issue with FKF.

“They are already doing something about it and since club licensing is an FKF matter, we cannot get involved.

We have not been informed about the reasons for being denied the document and would rather let them take it up with the federation,” added Oguda.

Both parties have until Monday to come up with an agreement on how to expand the top tier league by Monday and report back to the tribunal on Tuesday.

The matter ended up at the tribunal last year after KPL obtained an injunction barring FKF from discussing the expansion of the league while an agreement it had signed with the federation in September 2015 was still in place.

The tribunal, however, declined to issue a permanent injunction against FKF arguing that as custodians of football in the country the federation has powers to increase the size of the league.