Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Monday, 23 March 2015

FKF, KPL STRIKE DEAL OVER LEAGUE

A two-day meeting between Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Limited mediated by a delegation from FIFA has recommended a bipartisan solution to the impasse.
Addressing the press after a joint meeting last evening at a Nairobi hotel, the delegation led by Ghana’s FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi announced that KPL would continue running the top-flight league with 16 teams while the FKF Premier League which will go ahead with its current league.
At the end of the current season, the federation will promote four teams to the top tier when the two leagues finally merge.  “There have been interesting and fruitful talks with far-reaching conclusions.
We have all agreed that interests of the nation are paramount to individual interests and everyone has sacrificed their personal interest to find a lasting solution,” Nyantakyi pointed out as he read the resolutions. “There has been an agreement that KPL will run this year’s premier league on a transitional basis before we have the new league in 2016,” he added.
According to the proposals mooted after the talks, four teams will be relegated from the KPL at the end of the season while four from the FKF-PL will be promoted to join the remaining 12 KPL teams.   Two other teams from the Division One League will be promoted to the top tier which will now fall under one umbrella of the FKF Premier League made up of 18 teams.
FIFA’s Head of Associations Primo Cavaro clarified: “There will be no two parallel leagues running and FIFA does not condone such.” FIFA are expected to draft an MoU on the relationship between KPL and FKF and it is expected to be brought back to the two parties in two weeks for them to talk through and agree.
“We should be able to do this very fast and have the MoU discussed before returning it to FIFA for approval and have it signed officially between the two parties by June,” Nyantakyi said.
Among issues agreed to make up contents of the MoU, FKF has agreed to withdraw their court case against KPL while the FKF National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has been petitioned to overturn the decision to disentangle from KPL, a decision reached at the federations’ SGM in January.
Also, FKF, as per the FIFA constitution will control judicial bodies and referees with members of the judicial committee being elected at congress.  Previously, KPL had controlled the appointment of referees and also handled judicial processes.
Interestingly, FKF will not recognise the recently signed contract extension between KPL and broadcast partners Supersport with the initial agreement set to end this year. KPL had reportedly signed a contract extension to 2021.
The South African broadcasters will now need to negotiate afresh with the federation in 2016 when the new wave takes off.
The decision to let KPL continue running the league was made hugely due to their contractual obligations to Supersport and league title sponsors Tusker with the latter’s deal set to elapse at the end of the current financial year.