Anxiety at Sofapaka as tribunal set to decide KPL fate

Sofapaka FC coach John Braza follows the proceedings during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Under 20 ...
Sofapaka FC coach John Braza follows the proceedings during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Under 20 Championship against Bandari FC at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi on December 18, 2016. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/

Sofapaka FC President, Elly Kalekwa has admitted the club is uncertain of its future ahead of the Sports Dispute Tribunal ruling tomorrow where they will know whether they are still a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) club.

Sofapaka is challenging the decision of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to demote them with Kalekwa lamenting the circus surrounding the CAF Licensing rules they are accused of flouting has left them short of preparations for the new season.

The Sofapaka boss stated the seeds of doubts have been planted among the players with the 2009 KPL champions escaping relegation on a dramatic day of last season only to be pegged back by FKF.

The Tribunal is expected to rule tomorrow afternoon on whether Sofapaka will be included in the 2017 KPL that kicked off over the weekend or they will play in the second tier National Super League (NSL).

“The team is ready for the league but obviously all this uncertainty ends up having a negative effect on the preparations of the team. We know where we stand as a club on whether we deserve to play in the KPL but we cannot preempt tomorrow’s ruling,” Kalekwa told Citizen Digital.

Kalekwa however took comfort with the fact that, should the SDT’s decision favour them, they will not have been left far behind with only one KPL round gone by thus far.

“We’re a bit disadvantaged but we can easily catch up. We can’t compare our form against those who are already playing because we lack the match fitness.

“However, considering Ulinzi FC, AFC Leopards, Kakamega Homeboyz and Western Stima are yet to play their first matches of the season then I can say we’re almost even with the rest,” the Sofapaka boss added.

Sofapaka’s ruling will precede that of Muhoroni Youth, the other club challenging their relegation from the KPL.

Along with his outspoken Muhoroni counterpart Moses Adagala, Kalekwa has fiercely criticized the manner in which they were relegated to the lower league with the two having convened a press briefing days after FKF’s announcement where they termed the federation’s move as cheap politics, vowing to stay put in the top flight.

With FKF and KPL at the time locked in a bruising supremacy battle that saw the league management include Muhoroni and Sofapaka in their initial fixtures rota in defiance of the federation, Kalekwa and Adagala had affirmed their teams will play in the season openers.

Sofapaka had been scheduled to host Ulinzi Stars while Muhoroni were set to face Western Stima away in Kisumu before the fixtures were drawn afresh with the two struck off the list in line with SDT orders.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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