FKF postpones league kick-off, set to meet KPL Wednesday

What you need to know:

  • Mwendwa jetted back Monday night from Gabon where had gone to meet Caf chief Issa Hayatou over the 2018 Chan preparations.
  • Mwendwa said the federation will meet the KPL top brass on Wednesday in a meeting that will be moderated by the Sports Dispute Tribunal.

Football Kenya Federation has suspended the 2017 Kenyan Premier League season and warned clubs from taking part in it until the current stalemate involving composition of the top tier is resolved.

The federation has also ordered the FKF Disciplinary Committee to institute disciplinary measures against KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda, club chairmen James Musyoki (Tusker), Ambrose Rachier (Gor Mahia) and Bob Munro (Mathare United).

The two parties (FKF and KPL) are expected to hold a joint meeting today under the guidance of the Sports and Disputes Tribunal in order to chart a way out of the standoff.

Speaking on Tuesday during a press briefing at Kandanda House in Kasarani, FKF president Nick Mwendwa said that the drastic measures have been undertaken as a last resort since “KPL keep shifting goalposts that bring the game in disrepute” and this has seriously dented relationships between the two parties.

“We have had several meetings with KPL and it has now reached a point where we can no longer communicate directly with them,” said Mwendwa.

“They have shown open defiance and lack of respect both for this federation and for Fifa rules which are clear that they are only an agent contracted by us to run the national league.”

“We are still committed to having them run the league and that is why we have agreed to one final meeting on Wednesday where we shall seek to find ways out of this situation.”

“In the meantime however, the federation has suspended four persons in the KPL for knowingly approving and adopting fixtures that include clubs that have been relegated,” he said.

Mwendwa was however at pains to state exactly what his office intends to do if the league organisers go ahead with their plans to have the top flight league kick off this Saturday.

It has also emerged that FKF accepted grants totalling millions from Nakumatt to help them foot the Sh24.5 million required to offset the additional costs for implementing an expanded league.

This is a sticky issue that brings into question the federation’s motive, since Nakumatt is among the teams that stand to benefit from the expanded league by gaining promotion into the top flight.

This is the latest of a long standing spat between FKF and KPL. The move comes barely a day after KPL released provisional fixtures for the 2017 season that included Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth - two clubs that the federation relegated to the second tier for failing to meet the Club Licensing threshold last week.

FKF promoted Vihiga United and KCB to the top tier following the relegation of Sofapaka and Muhoroni, but KPL stuck to their guns and quashed the order.

KPL has since said they will seek to be enjoined in the petition by the two clubs protesting the decision to expel them from the top tier, although they are yet to specify which judicial body they will approach first.

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