FKF, KPL in a row over Mashemeji derby


Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa (L) and Kenyan premier league C.E.O ...
9FILE)Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa (L) and Kenyan premier league C.E.O Jack Oguda address during a media briefing in Nairobi, Kenya on February16, 2016. Oguda confirmed Friday, March 4, 2016 the Gor vs Leopards derby is on. Photo/ Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • A tug of war has rocked Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenya Premier League Limited (KPL) over AFC Leopards - Gor Mahia match
  • Mwendwa wants the MAshemeji Derby postponed to allow players from the two clubs to represent the country in the forthcoming international friendlies
  • On their side, KPL have said nothing has changed from the initial plans, insisting Bukhungu Stadium Kakamega will host the duel

A tug of war has rocked Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenya Premier League Limited (KPL) over AFC Leopards – Gor Mahia match date, the latter pushing for postponement of the clash set for Saturday.

FKF boss Nick Mwendwa wants the Mashemeji derby postponed to allow players from the two clubs to represent the country in the forthcoming international friendlies, on Friday and Monday against Swaziland and Equatorial Guinea respectively.

On their side, KPL have said nothing has changed from the initial plans, insisting Bukhungu Stadium Kakamega will host the duel.

“We have moved to postpone the matches involving AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia. There will be no derby on Saturday. We are asking the coach (Sebastian Migne) to beat Ghana and to do that he needs to have his best players, ” said Mwendwa.

Harambee Stars will be playing Ghana in a 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in September, and Mwendwa says the players have to be available to allow the newly appointed national team head coach, Migne,  enough time to work with his squad.

“We cannot cancel the two games, these games will go on. I am stating categorically that there will be no derby this weekend .We need to be ready for Ghana and  that’s can only happen if the coach has all the players in camp for preparations,” charged the FA boss.

In a statement to newsrooms on Monday evening,  KPL acknowledged to have received the letter from the federation and remained defiant that the matches will go on as scheduled.

“We have already made extensive arrangements starting with the matches scheduled for round 17 on Saturday May 26, 2018 to Sunday May 27 2018.

“The league as directed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF)  in a letter dated January 13, 2018, is supposed to end by October which has left the clubs having very congested fixtures , ” read part of the statement, signed by the league running body CEO Jack  Oguda .

The letter went on to state: “In the view of the above we are unable to postpone any more league matches to accommodate the matches that are outside the FIFA coordinated International match calendar. KPL clubs that are willing to release their players can do so on voluntary and have the right to require them to report to the clubs anytime,” affirmed Oguda in the statement.

Collins Okoth (L) of AFC Leopards SC and Humprey Mieno Ochieng in action during their Super Cup match at Afraha stadium in Nakuru on January 28, 2018. Gor Mahia FC won 1-0. (PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha)

FKF appears to be on the losing side, with Leopards’ Secretary General Oscar Igaida saying they their players will not be released for the international duty, adding preparations for the derby were already in top gear.

“We shall not release our players, we have a lot coming up, including the derby and Super Cup coming starting June 3.

“We condemn in the strongest words possible the statement released by the FKF president (Mwendwa) that the derby will not be played in a ‘funny stadium’.  Didn’t he know Bukhungu was ‘funny’ when CECAFA matches were being played there in 2017?”

Igaida, in the statement, said the club has already paid for the stadium and tickets are being printed, thus no looking back.

“The county commandant has already been notified of the security arrangement and a meeting is scheduled for May 23 at the stadium. We are going ahead with the preparations and we shall not participate in ‘funny’ friendly matches that don’t fall under the FIFA calendar,” read the statement.

The row puts Migne in dilemma, as he seeks to build a winning Stars team. The two clubs have over 10 players in his squad.

Gor Mahia players: Boniface Oluoch, Harun Shakava, Joash Onyango, Philemon Otieno, Francis Kahata, Humphrey Mieno and George Odhiambo.

AFC Leorpards players: Michael Kibwage, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Isuza.

(More reserve players from the two teams were listed)  

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Story By John Kyanda
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