Why Gor are set to be declared champions without kicking a ball
Kenyan Premier League defending champions Gor Mahia are set to be declared 2019-2020 champions if as expected, the Football Kenya Federation uses clause 2.6.1 of the promotion and relegation of teams in an announcement scheduled for early next month.
The clause says that where the league format due to circumstances of force majeure fails to be completed within the season, the league winners shall be determined in two ways.
Clause 22.214.171.124 states that “Before each and every club has completed its first-round fixtures the league shall be declared null and void.”
Clause 126.96.36.199 states that “Where all the clubs in the league have completed the first-round fixtures but less than 75 per cent league games have been played, the table standings at the end of the first round shall be considered as the final table standings of the league.”
With ten matches to play in the KPL, 68 per cent of the games have been played, meaning the first leg table standings will be used to declare Gor Mahia champions.
“The rule is very clear. It has no discussions. It is like a fed card. We gave all leagues the regulations before the start of the season. With the new announcement by President Uhuru Kenyatta, there is no way the league will conclude by the 23rd of May,” said FKF president Nick Mwendwa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the cessation in and out of four counties by another 21 days till the 18th of May. Teams need six weeks pre-season again before they start playing, and another at least seven weeks to conclude the matches.
“Initially we were waiting for the cessation and curfew regulations to end on 26th April before we could make a decision on the way forward. But with the extension, we don’t even know when social gatherings where sports fall under will be allowed again. Makes it impossible to conclude this season. So, the rule will apply across the seven tiers of our league in promotion and relegation,” added Mwendwa.
After each team playing 16 matches in the Kenyan Premier league, Gor Mahia topped with 39 points followed by Tusker fc with 34 points and Kakamega Homeboyz on 33 points.
On his part, Kenyan Premier League CEO Jack Oguda says the KPL governing council that comprises chairmen from all KPL clubs will have to meet to decide on the way forward.
“We had agreed that the governing council will meet and look at three things. Lifting of the government regulations where possible, the FKF rules and regulations, (in this case rule 2.6.1) and the best practices around the world where applicable.”
This new development is music to the ears of Nairobi City Stars and Bidco United who occupied the top two slots at the mid-season. City Stars topped the Nationwide Super League on 43 points, followed by Bidco United on 36 points. The two will earn automatic promotion to the Kenyan Premier League 2020-2021 season.
With the seasons concluded, the Kenyan Premier League Limited’s mandate to run the top tier league comes to an end, with the FKF taking over. President Mwendwa says the Federation will still allow the KPL teams to maintain independence from the FKF with a few chances to the agreement.
“The clubs will still run the league themselves but must move to the goal project Kandanda House complex at no cost. They will have to operate from there with an independent chairman on a four-year term,” stated Mwendwa.
The chairman will have to be a national executive committee member with no KPL Club affiliation. He will be assisted by two vice chairmen from the KPL clubs, also on a four-year term. The CEO will also work with the FKF competitions committee.
Mwendwa added that they are willing to listen to proposals from clubs in order to have a good working relationship.
“The KPL can negotiate contracts and have their own accounts, but the FKF president must sign all contracts. We already have someone interested in sponsoring the league from next season, but we will allow the clubs to negotiate the terms. All I want is an end to the noises every season between KPL and FKF.”
On the FKF Cup competition, Mwendwa says they only need two weekends to play the quarterfinals, the semis and the finals to get a winner. This will however depend on the government directives moving forward, and if the situation will allow for the resumption of matches.