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FKF Premier League

Mwendwa: Caf representatives will not be automatic FKF Premier League winners

09:57 EAT 18/05/2021
FKF President Nick Mwendwa and Gor Mahia with KPL trophy.
The federation boss reveals to Goal the top-flight will continue after June 30 to find a deserved winner for the 202-21 season

The Football Kenya Federation has come out to clarify the team that will be on top of the FKF Premier League table by the end of June 30 will only represent the country in the Caf Champions League, but will not automatically be the champions for the 2020-21 season.

On Monday, in a statement obtained by Goal, the FKF confirmed the team leading the table on June 30, the deadline provided by Caf for submission for representative clubs, will be given the slot to represent Kenya in the 2021/22 Champions League.

The statement left football stakeholders in shock, others wondering what will happen to the remaining matches after June 30, and if the league will not be played to a conclusion.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa has since told Goal they have been forced to take the route to save the country from missing out on the Champions League, but clarified the league will afterwards be played to the end and the deserved winner will walk away with the golden trophy and prize money.

“The team that will be at the top of the table by June 30 will only get a ticket to represent the country in the Champions League but the overall winner for the 2020-21 season will be decided at the end of the season, and they are the ones who will receive the golden trophy and prize money,” Mwendwa told Goal on Tuesday.

“It doesn’t mean whoever is at the top by June 30 will be the outright champions for the season, that will not be the case, after June 30 the league will continue and teams will have to fight to win the golden trophy and also the prize money, maybe the team at the top [by June 30], will be crowned if they keep the spot to the end of the season.

“So what we have only done is to make sure we beat the Caf deadline of June 30 and send a name of a team as requested by the African body, another option that we had was not to send a representative, meaning Kenya to miss out completely on taking part in Champions League.

“It is the reason as a federation we opted for the top team by June 30 to go for the competition, and this is well stipulated in rules governing FKF if we have played second leg matches and anything happens to the league, then the team at the top is crowned the champions, we have not violated any rules, that is the way it is.”

On whether Kenya will have a representative in the Confederation Cup, Mwendwa said: “We will be ready to beat the deadline since we want to resume the domestic cup in the first week of June, and so we will automatically have a winner and who will represent us.”

The statement by the FKF means Kenya’s regular representatives at the competition, Gor Mahia, risk missing out this season as they are placed sixth on the 18-team table behind Tusker, AFC Leopards, Kariobangi Sharks, KCB, and Bandari.

Tusker have been at the top for the better part of the ongoing season and stand a good chance to grab the slot while among the top five teams, only KCB have not participated in the continental competition as Kariobangi Sharks, AFC Leopards and Bandari have been there in the last four seasons.

The Brewers last played on the continental stage in 2016, after they won the league title and the Shield Cup under Ugandan coach Paul Nkata.

From 2017 to 2021 Gor Mahia have been representing Kenya although their performances have not been convincing, especially in the Champions League.