Relegated Division One clubs blame FKF rules for their woes
Conflicts on the 2019 Rules and Regulations Governing Kenyan Football have thrown four Football Kenya Federation (FKF) women’s Division One clubs that have been relegated to the third tier into a sharp dilemma.
While the league is in its infancy phase and the first leg is yet to be completed, already four teams, Makolanders FC from Zone A-League, Zep Oyugis Ladies, Bomet Starlets and newcomers Rongai Eaglets have fallen casualty of these conflicts.
They have been relegated from the second tier to the third tier - the FKF women regional league - by the Caretaker Committee.
According to the rules, there are two cardinal guidelines stipulating how a team is relegated.
Rule 2.7.3 state that promotion, retention, and relegation shall normally be automatic, shall not be governed by additional requirements other than performance on the field of play, and shall be based on Sporting merit.
In contrast, rule 126.96.36.199 outline conditions that force a team to be relegated if they fail to honour three league matches within the season.
While rule 3.1.7 states that a club failing to turn up for any league/competition match shall submit a written explanation to the FKF National Leagues & Competitions Committee within forty eight hours from the date of the match.
The committee therefore, used failure to honour three matches as the guiding clause to chop off the four teams and disregarded the merit clause of those teams that were way away from the bottom table.
Facing the dilemma, the committee seems to have turned a blind eye to applying Rule 2.7 on promotion and relegation, and one may argue from a layman’s terms that even in arrangements, Rules 2 comes first before Rules 3.
Looking at forfeiture and not league final standings, underpinned the committee’s ambivalence about which direction to go, and in a gamble, took an unhelpful lens through which to see the situation’s calculation.
Some teams have now come out blaming the committee for causing the mess while punishing them innocently. They are saying, it’s the committee who from the onset asked the clubs to start the league promising to grant them monthly stipends to cater for logistics when playing their matches.
and help teams honour matches, and when they failed to send money on time, teams got incapacitated, thus not to blame for eventualities.
They’re also in agreement that failure to honour the matches as required is a redline for relegation, but feel the decision was hurried since it was outside their financial means to meet the requirements by attending the forfeited matches.
They said despite their numerous requests to the committee to have their matches postponed, their pleas fell on deaf ears, adding that instead of addressing the financial issue, the committee went ahead to relegate them, without even according to them a fair hearing.
“Our predicaments are hitched on financial challenges, and not inability to perform. On the financial front, we tried writing and requesting the committee to postpone or push our fixtures to later dates but they declined. They promised to fund Division One teams once the league kicked off. At the time of relegating us, teams were still waiting. It’s a challenge to teams now that you have to take care of ambulances, security, and field hire. Teams are suffering but the committee is not ready to listen but just throwing