FKF-PL: Nzoia Sugar one defeat away from relegation

Center referee Josephine Wanjiku issue a warning card to Steve Otieno of Nzoia Sugar during FkF Premier league match against AFC Leopards at the Nyayo National stadium on Sunday, March 3rd, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Nzoia Sugar will be relegated on Sunday if they fail to defeat Nairobi City Stars in round 31 FKF Premier League match set to be staged at Sudi Stadium in Bungoma County.

This is after the sugar men went down 1-0 to Kakamega Homeboyz on Wednesday’s match played at Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega.

Nicholas Kipkirui scored the lone goal in the 36th minute after tapping home the rebound after Kevin Amwayi hit the post.

The win lifted Homeboyz to seventh with 44 points.

However, for Nzoia Sugar, they remain rooted at the bottom of the table with 18 points.

With four matches left, Nzoia need to win all their remaining matches starting with when they host City Stars this weekend.

They will then have to see off Ulinzi Stars and fellow strugglers Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka.

Collecting the 12 points will lift Nzoia to 30 points but Shabana (29 points) and Muhoroni Youth (28 points) must lose all their matches too.

A draw or a defeat will mean Nzoia are relegated to the National Super League next season.

This season has been particularly challenging for the Bungoma-based club, which has managed only four wins while suffering a staggering 20 losses.

Their performance is a grim echo of broader struggles faced by clubs from the sugar belt region, a once-thriving hub of Kenyan football talent and competitive spirit.

The decline of Nzoia Sugar marks a potential end to the presence of these clubs in the top tier of Kenyan football, following the fall of historical clubs such as Mumias Sugar, Sony Sugar and Chemelil Sugar.

The saga of the sugar belt clubs in the Kenyan Premier League, which began in 1963, is woven with both triumph and tragedy.

These clubs, supported primarily by the local sugar companies, have battled through decades marked by financial instability, lack of professional management, and a reliance on single-entity sponsorship which, when withdrawn, has left clubs unable to operate sustainably.

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