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No end to FKF-KPL war as league kicks off on Saturday

FOOTBALL By ROBIN TOSKIN | February 12th 2015
FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya, centre, address journalists as he is flanked by FKF Vice Chairman Robert Asembo, left, and Mohamed Omar FKF NEC Member during a meeting in Nairobi. They annonced that the Kenya Premiere League, KPL, will be rebranded to FKF Premiere League. 2nd November, 2014. Photo/Jonah Onyango.

Were George Orwell, he of the Animal Farm fame, to rise up and proclaim to warring factions in Kenyan football his famous quote, "The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it", he would, perhaps, be happy he lived up to 1950.

Yesterday, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) reiterated that their league season would kick off on Saturday, February 14, a week before the Kenyan Premier League begins theirs.

The scenario sets the perfect stage for two parallel leagues, notwithstanding such counsel by Armin Arelet that "people, who can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything".

"We are moving on with an 18-team league and fixtures to that end shall be released today," FKF President Sam Nyamweya insisted at a press conference yesterday.



The federation warned any team that skipped its fixtures, apart from Gor Mahia and Sofapaka, who will be on continental assignments over the weekend, would be replaced.

At the same time, KPL big guns were holding a separate meeting to lay the ground for their league to kick off on February 21.

FKF announced the fixtures would consist of last season's top 14 clubs and four newly promoted sides - Shabana, Posta Rangers, Nakumatt FC and Kakamega Homeboyz.

"That league will be called Tusker FKF Premier League," FKF Vice President Robert Asembo said at the press briefing.

"Our plans are complete. We are proud to announce that MP & Silva, our media rights consultants, will release the funds which should reach the clubs on Monday or Tuesday. Clubs will receive Sh9 million shillings per year, broken down to Sh1 million per month for nine months," Asembo said.

The FKF brigade was at pains to explain why they launched the FKF Premier League fixtures while at the same time opening the doors for further talks with KPL, with whom they had earlier severed links.



"We have no problem with our clubs. In a joint executive meeting with them, we had agreed that the league should be called FKF Premier League and we have a letter to that effect from KPL," Nyamweya said.

He added that world football governing body Fifa had made it clear it would not tolerate parallel leagues.

"That will not happen. And referees who officiate in any league besides FKF Premier League will face consequences as outlined in the FKF Statutes, and I can promise they will be dire," Nyamweya said.

KPL on the other hand kicked off their programme last night with a season curtain raiser - the DSTV/Supersport Super Cup pitting GOTv champions Sofapaka against league winners Gor Mahia at Nyayo Stadium.

The KPL, which brings together 16 clubs, maintained they were on course with their march towards the February 21 kick off.


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