Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa has sensationally claimed the 2019-20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season should be annulled with Gor Mahia and Bandari picked to represent the country in the Confederation of African Football (Caf) competitions.
The Batoto ba Mungu boss has stated the reason to declare the top-flight null and void is because Kenya has no capacity to resume the same and play the remaining nine rounds of matches owing to financial problems facing the clubs and KPL.
The top-flight was halted at the beginning of March owing to the coronavirus pandemic and on Saturday, the Kenyan government extended the 21-day curfew to June 6 thus complicating matters for KPL, who had hinted at setting a new date for kick-off, had the curfew been scrapped.
While KPL is keen to see the league played to the end, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has moved to end the campaign and declared Gor Mahia, who were sitting at top of the 17-team table, the champions and also promoted Nairobi City Stars and Bidco-United from the National Super League (NSL).
Kalekwa has now said even if the curfew is lifted today and football allowed to return, it will be impossible to play the remaining matches.
“We don't have the capacity as Kenya to resume the league as Germany did, we need to do a lot in terms of safeguarding the lives of players and all those who will be involved and we will be lying to ourselves it will be possible,” Kalekwa told Goal on Monday.
“For example, for the German league to resume, they have allowed all players to stay in one hotel, and after matches, they are transported by a team bus back to hotels for a check-up and testing for the virus, can that be implemented in Kenya and at whose cost?
“Do we have the money to keep players in residential camps for a period of two or three months? The remaining matches will need three weeks to be completed and before the league resumes, we will have to test the players, referees, team officials, etc. and all this will require money which we don’t have as clubs.
“We should just swallow our pride and make a decision for once, let's cancel the league and forget that we even had a league going on from the start and then we allow previous winners - [Gor Mahia – league] and [Bandari - domestic Cup] - to go for the Caf competitions.”
Kalekwa further said the decisions taken by FKF to crown Gor Mahia and relegate some teams were not done in good faith and could bring trouble in the league before the new season begins.
“That was not a fair decision because teams facing relegation will feel aggrieved because they can clearly say I had a chance to survive but you ended the league and chopped me, and this will invite court cases which might at the end delay the start of the new season,” Kalekwa continued.
“As the Sofapaka boss I want to plead with those involved to sit down and make a decision, and my decision is very simple, end the league, don’t crown anyone, don’t relegate anyone and let the previous winners carry the flag for Kenya in continental assignments.”
FKF has already submitted Gor Mahia’s name to Caf as Kenya’s representatives in the Caf Champions League while there was no team give for the Confederation Cup as the FKF Shield Cup was yet to conclude.