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There’ll be no more KPL, says FKF chief Mwendwa

By People Team
Friday, June 5th, 2020
FKF president Nick Mwendwa gestures during a recent function. INSET: Mwendwa (left) with KPL and Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA and SPORTPICHA

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa yesterday reiterated that after September, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will no longer be in operation and in its place will be a newly formed FKF Premier League to run the top-tier league.

Speaking to People Sport on phone, Mwendwa said the federation had resolved not to extend  KPL’s contract that expires in about two months’ time.

Mwendwa’s declaration came on a day that KPL announced  plans to resume league matches after the anticipated lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The two factions have been on a coalition path for years, with the climax of their battered relationship being a legal battle over last month’s termination of the top league by FKF, despite the fact that 10 matches were still remaining.

“We are not going to extend KPL’s contract for even a single day. After September 24 when there term expires, we pick their operations with the FKF Premier League and the teams in the league will remain the same because they are all affiliated to the federation,” Mwendwa said.

He added: “The rules of promotion and relegation will also remain the same.

They have always been our rules, so nothing is going to change apart from the persons mandated to operate the league.”

Anticipated polls

KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier and Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda played down the issue, saying that September was still more than two months to come and with the anticipated national football polls, no one is certain to be in office by then.

“It needs both FKF and KPL to reach an agreement in order to extend the contract. For now we are expecting elections any time and whoever will be the federation’s president by then, will make the decision.

It may still be Nick Mwendwa and if it’s him and he stands by his decision, then KPL will have to stop its operations,” Rachier told People Sport.

Oguda said the coronavirus pandemic had realigned everything in football including Fifa and Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions and noted that immediately the restrictions were lifted, they would urgently convene a Governing Council to discuss football status.

“In case the restrictions are lifted on Saturday, we will have our Governing Council meeting on Monday to discuss football status.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed, recently confirmed that the Government had set up a team to prepare for the resumption of sporting activities in the country once the Covid-19 situation has been managed.

This is a sign that football in general is set to resume to normalcy in the near future,” said Oguda.

Effect on football

He added: “In the meeting, the KPL Governing Council will deliberate on the Government’s blueprint to re-opening the economy and its effect on football activities.

For avoidance of doubt, no decision has been made regarding the fate of the KPL 2019/20 season.

It should be emphasised that it is only the KPL Governing Council that has the power to make such a decision.

In that meeting, the KPL Governing Council will discuss and decide on the fate of the KPL 2019/20 season.

The provisional agenda for the meeting will be circulated when convening the meeting after consultation with the KPL chairman.”

Oguda urged KPL clubs to familiarize themselves with the FIFA guidelines on dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on football activities and their recommended roadmap to resuming football activities as they wait for the way forward.

“We shall also be guided by the Government’s guidelines on resumption of sporting activities. KPL has always been guided by the rule of law and will continue to maintain this path,” Oguda said.