AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia to FKF: No Mashemeji Derby unless we are paid

Goal Kenya.

The defending Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have written a joint letter to FKF president Nick Mwendwa threatening to boycott Saturday's league Mashemeji Derby if they are not paid their dues.

The two teams are scheduled to play at Nyayo Stadium this weekend, with both sides keen on winning the game to secure the bragging rights. 

With Tusker and KCB leading the title race, Kenya's two most popular clubs have been reduced to mere participants, and what they are targeting is to finish as high as possible.

Why are Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards threatening not to play?

"Whereas you [FKF] are obliged to make monthly payments of sponsorship grants, you have intentionally neglected, failed and/or refused to remit to us the said sponsorship grants in time and sometimes at all. To this end you have failed and/or refused to remit to us in full the Startimes, BetKing and Youth Team sponsorship as of date," read a joint letter signed by Ambrose Rachier and Dan Shikanda and obtained by Goal.

"In addition, whereas the sponsorship of [FKF] Shield Cup has been paid to you by the sponsors, you have neglected, failed and/or refused to give the winning club and the runners up their due and rightful payment.

"You have neglected, failed and/or refused to remit Ksh 2 million to Gor Mahia and Ksh 1 million to AFC Leopards as the respective winners and runners up of the [FKF Shield] Cup.

"This is, therefore, to inform you that unless all the outstanding sponsorship grants and the [FKF Shield] Cup sponsorship money of Ksh 2 million to Gor Mahia and Ksh 1 million to AFC Leopards is paid by 4.00 pm 30th July 2021, we will not honour the league match slated for Saturday 31st July 2021."

Karim Nikiema of Gor Mahia vs AFC Leopards.

What is FKF's response?

Federation CEO Barry Otieno clarified why grants have not been paid and the initial understanding between the responsible parties.

"First, there is no relationship between the FKF Shield Cup and the league match," Otieno told Goal.

"For clarity purposes, we had agreed with Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Equity FC, and Bidco United that they will get their Shield monies by August 5, today [Friday] is not that agreed date.

"Some clubs wanted us to pay them in cash but we refused since the Federation does not operate that way and we asked for bank details where the monies will be deposited.

"On the issues of league grants, there has been a delay from our commercial partners regarding the disbursement of the same and it has been communicated to all the teams. We are anticipating that by August it should be paid depending on the availability of funds owing to the unique challenge brought about by Covid-19.

Barry Otieno of FKF.

Article continues below

"Again, we have protocols that should be followed when requesting to postpone a match. It should be communicated 72 hours before the game and none of the clubs have done that. 

"We feel there are some underlying issues within the clubs which we do not want to go into detail. As we understand, the game is on, but if it does not happen then the FKF Leagues and Competitions Committee will sort it out."