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Quagmire in Kenya as KPL responds to FKF decision to end the league

Quagmire in Kenya as KPL responds to FKF decision to end the league

By Agnes Amondi,

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) CEO Jack Oguda expressed his opposition to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) decision to end the 2019/2020 season as they are yet to determine how the league will end. 

In a letter sent to FKF Secretary General/CEO Barry Otieno, he accused the federation of “breaching KPL mandate on running the league” as well as “selective application of rules and selective interpretation of CAF’s letter to the FKF.”

“Reference is made to media reports in which you are quoted as stating that the 2019/20 season of the Kenyan Premier League will be cancelled and FKF rules will be used to determine the winner,
“As per the letter from CAF to the Federation CAF made an enquiry about the current situation of your National League/National Cup [ranking, number of pending matches, etc.]

As well as the strategies you intend to apply to finalize those competitions be it through completion or annulment this is in order for CAF to chart a way forward for it unfinished competitions for this season and to plan for the new season schedule,” read part of the letter.

Oguda went on: “We noted your alleged comments with great concern considering that it was also reported you allegedly stated that the domestic cup will be played to the end because, “all the teams in the FKF Bet Way Cup in the competitions have worked hard to reach where they are and it will be unfair to cancel the same,” as you were quoted.

  “The lack of consistency in the Federation’s stand on the fate the two competitions implies; a selective application of the rules by FKF, the selective interpretation by FKF of CAF’s letter to the Federation, disregard by FKF of the hard work put in by KPL teams to reach where they are in the current KPL 2019/20 standings, amounts to breach of the KPL mandate on running of the league through interfering with the management of its affairs,” KPL noted.

Further, Oguda indicated that there isn’t any need of annuling the season yet as there’s no urgency to do so.

“KPL wishes to state that it is strongly against annulling the league at this stage without first exploring other avenues which will see the season played to the end.

The pandemic is not unique to just Kenya and, therefore, we see no urgency to have the league ended by May 15.

We have been in contact with other leagues which are under the jurisdiction of CAF and none is contemplating annulling their league season for now.

Further to that, these leagues and others in other parts of the world are not under pressure from their Federations and Confederations to end their season prematurely since even CAF is yet to complete in CAF competitions for this year.

As you may be aware FIFA convened a meeting with the stakeholders this week to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the International Match Calendar which will directly affect CAF and the FAs.”

“It is still too early to consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Kenyan football as case of force majeure. If in any case it were so, KPL would stand to be guided by Clause 9.1 of the FKF-KPL Agreement which provides direction on our obligations in such an evant.

Since CAF has not concluded its own club competitions it therefore makes no sense at all to insinuate that CAF is rushing its members to end their seasons. Should such a directive come from CAF, KPL will exercise its mandate to give the way forward to FKF on the fate of the league after convening a Governing Council meeting.”

Fair Play

Oguda wants any decision as to who gets promoted or relegated to be made only on the fields as FKF does with its domestic cup, FKF BetWay cup. 

He also maintains that any decision to conclude the season earlier than scheduled can only be made by CAF through a directive to its members. Until then, the league should be given a chance to resume and for the teams to wrap up the remainder of the season.

“It is our insistence that if FKF plans to have the domestic cup played until the very end, it is only logical that KPL teams are also given a sporting chance to determine their final fate in as far as the battle for the championship and relegation survival goes because they have also been working hard up until the pandemic hit us. 

The FKF-KPL Agreement mandates KPL the right to run the league until September 24, 2020.

There is still sufficient time till then to have the league played to the end barring any directives from CAF or the Government of Kenya which can deny teams a sporting chance to determine their fate.

KPL has confidence in the manner the Government of Kenya has contained the pandemic and we believe that if we wait for a few more weeks, to see if the Government will lift some of the restrictions which are preventing our league from resuming like the ban on gatherings and movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa.”

He did not pass the chance to remind FKF that they are tasked with the mandate of running the league thus FKF cannot make any announcements and decisions of their behalf.

Clause 2a of the FKF-KPL Agreement states: “KPL has the exclusive, full, and unhindered rights to manage the Kenyan Premier League in accordance with the rules and regulations of KPL, FKF, CAF, and FIFA. 

Clause 2 (d) of the same agreement states: “to ensure there is no undue interference by FKF or other officials or third parties with KPL management of the Kenyan Premier League”, FKF is obligated to respect KPL’s mandate of running the Kenyan Premier League,
“Clause 2 (g) of the same agreement refrains FKF from making media or public announcements and decisions on KPL’s behalf which infringe on the exclusive, full, and unhindered right of KPL to manage the Kenyan Premier League.”


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