By Frederick Nadulli,
World football governing body FIFA has reportedly turned down the proposal by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to have an expanded 18 team league.Reliable sources have intimated to Soka25east.com that the basis of the ruling is purely ‘on stringent scrutiny of documentation’ presented by both parties at the center of one of Kenya’s most bitter football administration wrangles. FKF,as expected,frowned upon the new developments and is rallying it’s troops to strategise.
KPL ARGUMENT vs-a-vis FKF
At the close of the football calendar last year, FKF president Sam Nyamweya infamously declared that the new season shall have an expanded league, as opposed to the usual sixteen team format, in a move that was widely condemned as counterproductive and retrogressive. Ironically he received backing from some small anonymous quarters. His argument was that the new adoption would be all-inclusive.
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) was having none of it,and adamantly maintained that only sixteen would compete in the top tier.
The gloves were off and so begun the bare-knuckled fight that got the attention of Zurich.FIFA promptly dispatched Ashford Mamelodi and Dr.Robert Neimann, a respected consultant,to restore sanity and possibly arbitrate the bitter tussle.
In separate and subsequent all-parties meetings,both sides tabled documentation to back their hard-line positions. KPL provided arguments to demonstrate why the league could not accommodate two extra teams plus the financial implications of the proposed move.To strengthen their stance they attached binding agreements made between them and other major stakeholders. The FIFA duo were impressed.
FKF on their part fell far short of expectation,and lacked strong basis,nay documentation,to back their case.
Dr.Neimann, a former Chief Executive of a top body in Germany’s football circles,recommended a 16- team status quo and so FIFA adopted his recommendation and backed him.This decision has reportedly infuriated the FKF president,who pointed out that the consultant has no such powers or jurisdiction to make a decision as weighty as that.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
To counter the move and perhaps strategise on the next course of action, FKF has called for a SGM in Kakamega at the end of January.On the agenda will certainly be the thorny issue of league expansion and renaming it to Football Kenya Federation Premier League.
Granted, Sam Nyamweya is a sly operator who more often than not gets his way,especially on matters involving FIFA.KPL, many a time victims of his manipulations and interference,appear to finally have outfoxed the old master.Perhaps what he thought was a routine leeway has unexpectedly boomeranged in his face.
And with the FKF elections looming, it remains to be seen how the crafty honcho will wriggle his way through this quandary that threatens to leave his credibility seriously eroded.
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