FIFA backs FKF 18-team league in 2018

By alex wafula
Nov 10, 2016
  • KPL CEO Jack Oguda and FKF Chairman Nick Mwendwa at a past event.(Photo:SNA File)

The 2018 Kenyan Premier League looks set to be expanded to an 18-team format, despite resistance from KPL.

World football governing body FIFA wrote a letter to Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa, stressing that FKF was at liberty to dictate the number of teams in its top tier.

KPL moved to the Sports Tribunal before the FKF Annual General meeting last month, obtaining an injunction to stop discussion of the top tier expansion.

Hearing was set for Tuesday afternoon but the same was pushed forward to November 22 after a request from KPL.

The league body lawyers argued they had only been served with an affidavit by FKF on the morning of the hearing and needed time to go through it.

But with FIFA’s latest letter, FKF seems to be set to have its way.

“In line with the information at our disposal, we therefore deem that the FKF is responsible for organizing the top-tier competitions in Kenya and that any Kenyan league must be subordinate to the FKF.

"The FKF constitution foresees the possibility of delegating the organisation of the top-tier competition to a subordinate league, which could be the KPL, provided the above-mentioned conditions are met,” FIFA’s letter, signed by Secretary General Fatma Samoura and copied to CAF read in part.

FIFA to step in

The world body now says it will step in to ‘assist’ in case the two do not lead to an amicable solution.

“We would like to remind you that one condition of being a member of FIFA is to be responsible for organizing and supervising football in all its forms in its country (art. 11 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes).

As such, the FKF is responsible for the top-tier competition, namely the KPL,” the letter adds. FIFA has also asked KPL to withdraw its petition from the Sports Tribunal as it goes against FIFA statues that football matters should not involve a third party.

The discussion about expanding the top tier first came into discussion last season and it almost brought the league into its knees with the then FKF president Sam Nyamweya going to court seeking to stop KPL which had already rolled on its league.

Then no team was promoted or demoted.

After a series of meetings mediated by FIFA officials led by Ghana FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi, a solution was found and an MoU signed.

FKF revisited the issue this year, putting straight their desire to add two more teams to the top tier.

“We will respect the decision of the court, but we want to continue having discussions with our friends at the KPL so that we have a more inclusive league,” Mwendwa told Sports News Arena in a past interview.

Stars prepare for friendlies 

Meanwhile, Harambee Stars will be without five players for the two upcoming international friendly matches against Mozambique and Liberia.

Ayub Timbe, Allan Wanga, Musa Mohammed, David Ochieng, and Paul Were have all been ruled out of the two matches.

Were who plays his club football in Greece and Ochieng who clubs New York Comsos is preparing for a league play off final have been allowed to sit out on the request of their clubs.

Timbe has been out injured for the last two weeks while Wanga has asked to sit out due to personal commitments.

Mohammed on the other hand will miss the tie due to passport issues. Harambee Stars take on Mozambique this Saturday before playing Liberia on Wednesday, both matches will be at the Kasarani Stadium.

Mozambique have already arrived in the country ahead of the two matches.