Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa has warned Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards of punishment should they fail to turn up for the Mashemeji Derby on Saturday.
On Friday, the two local giants stated they would not play the game if FKF will not pay grants and Shield Cup prize money owed to them, but Mwendwa has threatened them with unnamed punishment if they go on and abscond the game.
What has been said?
"Let them fail to honour the game. We can not even discuss that with you now, let them just fail to turn up. I pray a lot that they do not honour the fixture," Mwendwa told Goal.
"I have been in football for 21 years and I clearly see no problem that Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards can cause. Do you know that Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are supposed to pay Fifa fines next week and if they fail, they could even face relegation?
"Do you know that they can not engage in transfers as we speak? They can not sign a player and their players are exiting. As we speak, nine Gor Mahia players are exiting and it is even worse at AFC Leopards.
"The sponsor's money for the Shield Cup was not enough and it is FKF that settles the prize money and after the final, we told the clubs that the money would be paid by August 5th and they cannot write a demand letter now.
"What is the relationship between the Shield Cup and the Premier League? How can one claim he would not attend a league game because there are Shield Cup arrears? Have you ever heard of a club in the world claiming it would not honour a game because there is no money?"
Mwendwa clarified the clubs have not been paid grants for the month of July only and not as AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia claim. The FA chief asserts that the two clubs are making noise to divert attention generated by their in-house problems.
"The only money we have not paid the league clubs is for the month of July and do you know that we have granted AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia loans on three occasions?
"I wonder what courage they have to write this letter now. What if we write a letter and state that we will not put them on the Premier League roster? What would they have done?" asked Mwendwa.
"If they are relegated by Fifa, what do you think will happen? They are just like any other club and there is no difference. They are only raising their voices because their clubs are having crises. They are in bad situations, but we as FKF have not been leaking information and if we start leaking them, they will run."
On his part, AFC Leopards chair Dan Shikanda maintained the demands of their letter still stand.
"If you give us the money now, it means the money was there and it also means you were intentionally holding onto our money. But for clarity, whatever we wrote in the letter, we still stand by it. Nothing has changed," Shikanda told Goal.
"People joke a lot and take sports as a part-time adventure and not a professional one."
The issue of grants could end up generating friction between the clubs and the FA toward the end of the season.