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SPORTS

WINS FOR ZOO, NAKUMATT: KPL set to start with 16 teams after Sports Tribunal ruling

FOOTBALL By Gilbert Wandera | February 11th 2017 | 2 min read
Tusker's Eugine Asike, left vie for the ball with Dennis Mukaisi of Posta Rangers during Sportpesa Premier league at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, April 24, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

The Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) has ruled that the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) kicks off with 16 teams.

In a ruling delivered yesterday, the tribunal said that Sofapaka, Muhoroni Youth, KCB and Vihiga United be excluded from the fixtures until the matter is heard and determined. They ordered that Nakumatt and Zoo Kericho be included in the new fixtures to make the 16-team league.

The tribunal further ordered KPL to kick off by February 25. The ruling came after both Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth took the matter to the tribunal after they were denied a licence to feature in the top tier league.

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa hailed the ruling: “Well, no more meetings now, it is set and it is high time we moved forward. We don’t want to continue with the old ways of doing things; as FKF, we are happy,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Tusker captain James Situma is confident his team will start their CAF Champions League campaign on a high as they face AS Port-Louis of Mauritius in today’s preliminary round match at Kasarani Stadium.

Tusker return to the continental scene after a five-year absence after winning a double last season. The brewers clinched both the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title and the GOtv shield.

Speaking ahead of the match Situma said: “It is a big game for us and we expect to start on a high considering that we are playing at home and want good results. A win therefore matters for us. We should wrap up the match in the first leg and make the return fixture a mere formality.”

The Tusker captain insists that past poor results by Kenyan teams at the continental level will not discourage them as they are going into this fixture with positive expectations.

“We cannot look back at the poor results of local teams in the continental level and let it determine our performance. That is that and it is the past. Furthermore, football has changed so much and we have to believe we can do it.”

Situma also said that the players have quickly adopted to the tactics of new coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe who took up the mantle at Ruaraka two months ago after the departure of title winning coach Paul Nkata.

“As professionals, we have adopted well to the changes at the technical bench. Changes will always be there and it has not been difficult to work with the new man. He has come with new things and we are learning very fast,” he said.

For goals, Tusker will look up to Allan Wanga as the former AFC Leopards striker was inspirational for the brewers mid last season.

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