It is not over yet, the battle between the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenya Premier League (KPL) does not seem to end any soon!
Following a directive by FIFA for FKF to take charge of football activities in the country, KPL is not moved an inch. There has been a tussle between FKF and KPL on the composition of the league with FKF rooting for an 18-team league while KPL sticking to the current 16-team league. The Kenya’s football governing body wrote to FIFA seeking guidance on the matter. In a letter dated November 8, 2016, FIFA responded to affirm that FKF should take charge of football decisions but advised that the body reaches out to KPL to further discuss the issue.
FKF then fronted their demands to KPL, among them; KPL to accept a league consisting of 18 teams starting next season and to withdraw a case they had filed against FKF from the Sports Disputes Tribunal as per the directive of FIFA. An unmoved KPL rejected all the demands while expressing concerns on sincerity of FKF.
KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier stated that the body cannot adhere to directives of a letter which is a reply to a letter they are not aware of. He claims that FKF only handed them the reply letter but their request for the initial letter that FIFA was responding to was declined. As a result, the body cannot be part of a conversation whose origin is unkown.
Instead, KPL has written to the World Leagues Forum (WLF) to seek backing from the body against what they termed as a FIFA’s misguided response to FKF’s letter. They further claimed that Nick Mwendwa, the FKF president, has personal interests since he chairs the board of one of the clubs that could possibly gain promotion should a 18-team league be implemented.
The letter to WLF read in part, “The key issue is that FKF is arbitrarily insisting that all previous agreements involving FIFA, CAF, FKF and KPL over the last decade now be ignored and that the KPL relegation/promotion format since 2007 be immediately changed barely a week before the final matches of 2016 season. Moreover, one of the likey additional club to be promoted belongs to the FKF president.”
Who will have the last smile? Is KPL undermining FKF’s powers or is FKF misinterpreting the rules? Time will tell.