FKF introduces KPL promotion play-offs
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has introduced promotion play-offs to the country’s top two leagues, with the development likely to see three second-tier clubs promoted to the top division.
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa declared second runners-up at the National Super League (NSL) will battle 16th-place finishers at the Kenyan Premier League for a place in the top flight as he upheld the customary promotion/relegation of two teams.
Speaking at the Utalii Hotel where he had convened a press conference, Mwendwa also announced an extended window period for clubs that were yet to comply to CAF Licensing requirements folowing the reinstatement of Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka FC to the KPL.
Mwendwa issued stern warnings for clubs that will fall short of the regulations by the close of the 2017 season, despite the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) having declared the grading manual adopted by the federation was defective when it nullified the promotion of Vihiga United and KCB FC to the top flight.
“As the federation we are happy for the two clubs and we promise to abide by the ruling passed. However, come the end of this year there will be scrutiny and every club will be expected to comply. I want everybody to keep this in mind because failure to do so will lead to clubs being kicked out of the league.
“Club licensing process started in April. We had the National Executive Committee working on the necessary documents before sending them to CAF and the International governing body of football (FIFA) for further assessment .
“NEC later passed it but you see still the ruling states otherwise. Yes we won’t argue anymore but will see to it that we don’t make similar mistakes twice,” Mwendwa emphasized.
While saying the federation had accepted the tribunal’s ruling, Mwendwa reiterated their support for Zoo Kericho FC and Nakumatt FC who were promoted to fill the extra two slots for an expanded KPL.
According to an agreement reached between FKF and KPL during talks brokered by the tribunal to expand the top division from 16 to 18 teams, the federation would cater for the exta two sides.
Mwendwa confirmed they are yet to fulfill the promise but claimed they have been in touch with ‘potential sponsors’.
“Believe it or not but the truth is that we are pulling together resources to fund the extra teams. Remember a ruling was passed on that issue meaning that if we fail to honor it that will be seen as a contempt of court,” he added.
Mwendwa said this would go on for several years before the federation was able to bring on board sponsors that would breach that gap.
“Already there are several entities that have approached me offering to help. We are still contemplating their offers but in the meantime we will be seeing our commitment through to the end,” he said.
-Report by Mwangi Githinji and Phyllis Kochwa.
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