The unending circus in matters concerning the running of the Kenyan topflight football league seems to have reached boiling point that may see a return to two leagues playing concurrently.

This follows a disagreement on the number of teams to feature in the league in the 2015 season with both Federation Kenya Football (FKF) and Kenya Premier League (KPL) limited failing to come agreement.

KPL insists only 16 teams should play in the league with a future plan of even reducing the number to 14 whilst FKF wants 18 for the campaign.

Both parties have released statements on the matter with FKF replying KPL who released the presser first by stating that there will only be one FIFA/CAF/FKF sanctioned league named Football Kenya Premier League comprising of 18 teams.

Below is the FKF statement in FULL that has FKF Boss; Sam Nyamweya’s signature.

It is with great dismay and disappointment that Football Kenya Federation reports the collapse of talks between us and Kenyan Premier League Limited over the expansion of the Premier League from this year.

It is unfortunate that KPL have gone ahead and issued media reports to the effect that they have no interest in engaging in dialogue over this matter. Arising therefrom, the FKF National Executive Committee gives direction as follows:

That the premier league shall henceforth be known as the Football Kenya Premier League, comprising 18 teams from 2015 to be run by participating clubs.

FKF has already secured a sponsor for the FKF Premier League for the 2015 season and beyond, guaranteeing each participating club Kshs 9 Million as annual grant.

The FKF Premier League shall be the only officially recognized top-flight league in Kenya in compliance with FIFA/CAF/FKF Statutes. The FKF Premier League will kick off on February 14th 2015.

These resolutions will be presented to the delegates at the Special General Meeting scheduled for Friday, January 30, 2015 for ratification; the general meeting being the supreme organ of Football Kenya Federation.

All football clubs, who are our members, are hereby advised accordingly and further communication will be sent to them in due course.

The above statement by FKF is a reply to the presser by the KPL released earlier in the day.

KPL Governing Council met on Saturday 24 January and unanimously confirmed that the Kenyan Premier League will have 16 teams in 2015 and for later years and that KPL will only consider proposals to reduce the number of teams.

KPL’s main reason for doing so is to support and improve the performance of Kenyan national teams. For example, adding more KPL teams means even more congested fixtures, more exhaustion and risk of injuries to our best players, lower competitive levels for developing our talented players, less time for our national team training sessions and less time for international friendly build-up matches.

That is why 46 of 48 African countries have top leagues of 16 teams or less. Not coincidentally, the only two countries with larger leagues, Egypt and Nigeria, both failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON tournament. Of the 16 countries which did qualify for AFCON, eight have top leagues of 16 teams and eight have top leagues of 14 or less teams.

Consequently, to avoid moving backwards rather than forward, in the future KPL will only consider proposals to reduce the number of KPL teams.

This issue is also no longer negotiable because of the blatant bad faith by FKF in the recent discussions with FIFA and KPL. For example, FKF leaked confidential documents and repeatedly provided inaccurate and biased information to some “FKF-friendly” journalists which so flagrantly misrepresented the discussions that even the FIFA officials complained.

Moreover, on January 20th FIFA sent a letter to FKF along with the FIFA consultant’s final report. In the letter, FIFA reportedly recommended a 16-team league and asked FKF to forward the FIFA letter and report to KPL and other stakeholders.

Instead, FKF ignored and defied FIFA. Over the next few days, FKF continued discussions with KPL without disclosing they had received the FIFA letter and report. Late last week, top FKF officials even denied they had received the FIFA letter and report. Last Friday, FIFA had to intervene and ordered FKF to send the FIFA letter and report to KPL. FKF have still not complied with that FIFA directive.

Due to such blatant bad faith by FKF, KPL will not engage in any more discussions on this matter. As it has done many times over the last decade, KPL will respect and implement the new FIFA directive.

It remains to be seen where this fracas ends but it should be noted that Kenya has had two leagues running concurrently in mid 2000s.

The same scenario also happened in Uganda in the 2012/13 season. 

The Kenyan league is home to more than 50 Ugandan footballers. 

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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