At last, 2017 KPL to kick off next Saturday

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Jack Oguda addresses the media at a Nairobi Hotel in Nairobi ...
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Jack Oguda addresses the media at a Nairobi Hotel in Nairobi on April 26, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

The delayed 2017 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) is set to finally kick off next Saturday with 16 teams.

The other two sides to feature in the top flight will be determined when the Sports Disputes Tribunal rules on a case where Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka FC are challenging their relegation to the National Super League.

KCB FC and Vihiga United who are designated to take their places in the 2017 KPL are the other clubs affected by the suit.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President, Nick Mwendwa on Thursday directed KPL Limited, the company mandated to run the league to release a 16-team fixture list without further delay pending determination of the case.

In a swift rejoinder, KPL CEO Jack Oguda announced they will release the fixtures on Friday with a tentative March 11 start.

The case involving Muhoroni and Sofapaka remained indeterminate despite a five-hour hearing at the SDT premises in Nairobi on Thursday, forcing an adjournment to Wednesday.

At the same time, KPL Chief Oguda was summoned by the John Ohaga-led tribunal to explain his defiance of the initial order to release league fixtures by February 25.

The SDT had on February 10 directed KPL to start the 2017 league within two weeks without the inclusion of the four clubs engulfed at the centre of their standoff with the FKF.

In response, Oguda admitted the KPL were ‘willing’ to loosen their stance over the inclusion of Muhoroni and Sofapaka; a departure from their stand the previous week when they had included the two in their preliminary 2017 fixtures rota.

On his part, FKF boss Mwendwa summoned all the 16 KPL clubs chairmen at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani to ‘chat a way forward’ but the consultative meeting was met with half the attendance – a manifestation of the prevalent discord between his federation and the league management.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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