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FKF, KPL form parallel football leagues

Kenyan football is likely to have two parallel leagues in the soon to begin season following the collapse of talks between officials from Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Ltd regarding the structure and composition of the top flight league.

On Wednesday afternoon FKF released a terse statement to newsrooms that all but confirmed it had taken over the running of the competition which will comprise 18 teams and will kick off on February 14.

“It is unfortunate that KPL have gone ahead and issued media reports to the effect that they have no interest in engaging in dialogue over this matter,” the FKF statement read.

“Arising therefrom, the FKF National Executive Committee gives direction that the premier league shall henceforth be known as the Football Kenya Premier League, comprising 18 teams from 2015 to be run by participating clubs,” the statement continued.

“The FKF Premier League shall be the only officially recognized top-flight league in Kenya in compliance with FIFA/CAF/FKF Statutes.”

SECURED SPONSOR

FKF further stated that it had secured a yet to be unveiled “sponsor” for the league this season who was ready to disburse Sh 9 million to the 18 clubs.

The statement did not establish whether the said sponsor was to take over the TV rights or title sponsorship, two products that are currently held by SuperSport and the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) respectively.

The Federation was responding to yet another release from KPL “which unanimously confirmed that the Kenyan Premier League will have 16 teams in 2015 and, for later years, that KPL will only consider proposals to reduce the number of teams.”

KPL claimed the “issue is also no longer negotiable because of the blatant bad faith by FKF in the recent discussions with FIFA and KPL.

KPL claims that, 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.