Sports / Updates
Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 09:22 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
Football Kenya Federation's announcement that demotion of Sofapaka, Thika United and Muhoroni Youth would be demoted from the top-tier league has sparked panic in the financially-struggling clubs which have promised to fight the federation's action in line with regulatory requirements.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa, at a press briefing at Kandanda House yesterday, had said that the three clubs had failed to comply with Club Licensing requirements set by the world football governing body FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF) on their financial and legal requirements. "The three clubs have paid the high price for failing to comply with CAF Club Licensing rules. This year's SportPesa Premier League will consist of 15 teams," said Mr Mwendwa.
The deadline for CAF Club Licensing rules was December 16 last year. The teams were required to submit their documents by that date but the NEC extended the time to December 23. All the 14 KPL clubs submitted their documents within the December 23 window. The president conceded that the three clubs had submitted the documents by the December 23 extended deadline as required, but the decision to drop them was taken after they failed to match part of the criteria.
With this revelation, National Super League sides Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho have earned automatic promotion to top flight club football following their acquisition of provisional licenses, leaving Thika, Sofapaka and Muhoroni with a chance to participate in the National Super League in the 2017 season should they beat the January 31 deadline for the second-tier league.
But none of the clubs is taking the decision lying down and they will all appeal the federation's decision within 14 days provided in the rules, and club officials have criticised FKF for not giving them sufficient time to organise their sponsorship. Sofapaka, once a rising star, has been hit financially in recent years and has struggled in the league, avoiding relegation by a whisker last season.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.