Clubs now set kick off date for new FKF PL season

A section of FKF Premier League clubs' CEOs during a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel on Monday. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

Though the confusion in the Kenyan football seems not to be ending anytime soon, Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir is optimistic the new FKF Premier League season will kick off next month once they get a greenlight from the relevant authorities.

Officials from fourteen out of 18 top tier clubs that participated in the 2021/22 FKF PL season met in Nairobi on Monday and set 12-20 November as the start date for the new campaign.

The new season had initially been slated to start on August 27 before it was pushed back to September 10.

The FKF Transition Committee then rescheduled it to September 24 before they postponed it again on October 1.

The committee whose term expired on October 15 then indefinitely postponed the league's kick off on September 30 claiming that they have received several requests from the clubs to reschedule the league until the uncertainty surrounding the league is sorted.

This came barely ten days after the Kenyan Premier League clubs (Caucus) unanimously agreed that they will only participate in a Fifa sanctioned league.

"Please that the kick off of the 2022/2023 league season has been postponed to a date that will be communicated soon. The committee has received several requests from clubs to postpone the league until the uncertainty surrounding the league is addressed," read part of the letter dated September 30 from the committee to the clubs.

With clubs and national teams (Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets) already feeling the effects of Fifa suspension after they were locked out of international competitions, the Premier League teams have started making plans as they wait for normalcy to return to Kenyan football.

And following Monday's meeting in Nairobi that saw the clubs' CEOs agree that the team that will be on top of the league by June 31, 2023 will represent the country in the 2023-24 CAF Champions League, Korir believes they are on the right path.

"It is better to have a plan that we can work with right now before we are caught unawares in November once everything gets cleared by the new Sports CS Ababu Namwamba whom we hope will restore the credibility of the league," Korir told Standard Sports.

Though clubs have been sidelined when it comes to league management in recent years, Korir, who also doubles up as the KPL Caucus secretary, feels the presence of the embattled FKF CEO Barry Otieno in the meeting is an indication of good things to come.

"We need to realize that the players are the owners of football because without them we will not have a league," he said.

"The clubs need to ensure that players have their jobs and their livelihoods continue otherwise they risk losing their passion, career and source of income.

"We don't need to punish our players for the sake of a few people who only care about themselves. Therefore, the only way the clubs can justify their cost of operation is once the league resumes otherwise some clubs risk being shut down considering the expenditure and finances being spent."

Some of the CEOs who graced the meeting include AFC Leopards' Victor Bwibo, Mathare United's Jecton Obure, Patrick Korir (Nairobi City Stars), Chris Oguso (Kenya Police), Jimmy Ambajo (Sofapaka), Lynda Ambiyo (Kariobangi Sharks), Geoffrey Misango (Bidco United), Collins Dave (Wazito), Bramwel Simiyu (KCB) and Collins Juma (Vihiga Bullets).

Ulinzi Stars and Tusker were represented by Samuel Ambani and Samuel Nzau respectively, while Talanta, Bandari and Nzoia Sugar sent apologies.

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