KPL bows to pressure,suspends league over Harambee stars

May 20, 2011

The club versus country row pitting Harambee Stars against Kenyan clubs fizzled out on Friday after KPL agreed to postpone all the premier league matches scheduled for next week.

The decision was announced after a meeting of the KPL governing council convened to discuss the matter and the removal of the Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda as a member of the Harambee Stars Board.

In backing down on their initial hard line position, KPL denied accusations that they were out to frustrate the national team.

KPL chairman Chimsen Ndiema said such accusations are baseless.” We have always supported the national team by allowing our players to be with the team for at least three days a week.

Two years ago we spent Sh13.5million on the team. The arrangement was that Football Kenya pays us that money back. To date they have not done so,” he said.

He also defended the company’s CEO for his earlier stand regarding the release of players and took issue with his removal as a member of the Stars board.

“Oguda was acting in accordance with the law and implementing what the KPL board has decided. We take exception to reports that he has been removed from the board and we insist that he continues to serve there,” he said.

Ndiema who is also the chairman of Ulinzi FC said while they have accepted to reschedule next weekend’s KPL matches, all the 16 clubs in the top league will not take part in the Football Kenya Cup.

“We had slotted the FKL Cup in our fixtures but so far we have not heard from their officials on when the competition will start. We will use those weekends we had scheduled for the Cup matches to catch up on the league matches that we will skip for the sake of the national team.”

At the same time Ndiema condemned Wednesday’s violence which saw the abandonment of a Gor/Ulinzi match at Nyayo Stadium.

The disciplinary committee of the company meets next Friday to deliberate on the matter.

FKL had ordered FKL to reschedule league matches slated for May 27th-28th to enable the national soccer team prepare for an upcoming Africa Nations Cup qualifying match against Angola.

All this came  to fore after Harambee Stars coach  Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno requested KPL to move this month’s mid-week fixtures forward to enable him prepare for the match against Angola on June 4.

The national team will resume training on Monday for the crucial away fixture. 

 

 Gina Tivona

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