KPL confirm non-negotiable 16 team league

A battle for supremacy is looming after KPL unanimously confirmed that Kenyan Premier League will have 16 teams in 2015 season

Kenyan Premier League Governing Council met on Saturday and unanimously confirmed that Kenyan Premier League will have 16 teams in 2015 and, for later years, that KPL will only consider proposals to reduce number of teams.

“For the good of our sport and nation”

KPL’s main reason for doing so is to support and improve the performance of Kenyan national teams. For example, adding more KPL teams means even more congested fixtures, more exhaustion and risk of injuries to our best players, lower competitive levels for developing our talented players, less time for our national team training sessions and less time for international friendly build-up matches.

That is why 46 of 48 African countries have top leagues of 16 teams or less. Not coincidentally, the only two countries with larger leagues, Egypt and Nigeria, both failed to qualify for the 2015 AFCON tournament. Of the 16 countries which did qualify for Afcon, eight have top leagues of 16 teams and eight have top leagues of 14 or less teams.

Consequently, to avoid moving backwards rather than forward, in the future KPL will only consider proposals to reduce the number of KPL teams.

Blatant bad faith by FKF

This issue is also no longer negotiable because of the blatant bad faith by FKF in the recent discussions with FIFA and KPL. For example, FKF leaked confidential documents and repeatedly provided inaccurate and biased information to some “FKF-friendly” journalists which so flagrantly misrepresented the discussions that even the FIFA officials complained.

Moreover, on January 20th FIFA sent a letter to FKF along with the FIFA consultant’s final report. In the letter, FIFA reportedly recommended a 16-team league and asked FKF to forward the FIFA letter and report to KPL and other stakeholders.

Instead, FKF ignored and defied FIFA. Over the next few days, FKF continued discussions with KPL without disclosing they had received the FIFA letter and report. Late last week, top FKF officials even denied they had received the FIFA letter and report. Last Friday, FIFA had to intervene and ordered FKF to send the FIFA letter and report to KPL. FKF have still not complied with that FIFA directive.

Due to such blatant bad faith by FKF, KPL will not engage in any more discussions on this matter. As it has done many times over the last decade, KPL will respect and implement the new FIFA directive.

Serious sports integrity issues in FKF

All football officials and stakeholders worldwide must respect the FIFA Code of Ethics, including Article 18 on the “Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting” which states that “Persons bound by this Code shall immediately report any potential breach of this Code to the secretariat of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee.”

In compliance with Article 18, on January 9th KPL submitted a dossier to the Investigatory Chamber with over 100 pages of documentation on serious irregularities in the FKF National Super League.

One top KPL club official was unfairly banned without a proper hearing by FKF for exposing serious irregularities while another honest and brave KPL official was recently banned by FKF for helping compile the dossier. KPL does not recognize either ban.

The full KPL dossier will be posted on the KPL website later today.

Other KPL decisions

Other decisions by the KPL Governing Council on Saturday include:

On relegation and promotion, the members agreed to maintain the present status quo and 16 KPL shareholders until the legitimacy of the proposed two promoted clubs is confirmed.

On the 2015 fixtures, the members agreed that the league will kick off on Saturday, February 21st and that the full fixtures will be reviewed and approved at their meeting in early February.

On the testing, selection and appointment of match officials, the members agreed that the same procedures be followed as previously agreed in the FKF-KPL JEC but, if FKF refuses to respect and cooperate on those previously agreed procedures, the members authorized the secretariat to proceed.

On the FKF-KPL Agreement, the members noted with concern that the proposed FKF amendments all represented major and unacceptable steps backwards from the text agreed at the JEC meeting on March 28, 2014 and, for the future negotiations, the members agreed that their representatives are authorized to discuss only those proposals which strengthened rather than weakened the previously agreed text.

On the timetable for completing and signing a FKF-KPL agreement, the members expressed their hope that the agreement can be concluded and signed as soon as possible before the league starts on February 21st but authorized the kick off to proceed with or without a signed agreement.

On payments to FKF, the members agreed that no payments be made to FKF until the agreement is signed.

On the KPL National Teams Policy, the members reviewed and amended the policy.

On the FKF Special General Meeting on January 30th in Kakamega, the members noted that the three special agenda items had now largely been overtaken by recent events.

FKF-KPL Joint Executive (JEC) Committee meeting today

On Tuesday, FKF President personally promised the KPL Chairman that he would hand over a copy of the Fifa independent expert consultant’s report before the start of the JEC meeting this morning.

When he failed to keep his promise and commitment to do so this morning, the scheduled JEC meeting aborted and did not take place.

Statement courtesy of KPL website.