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FKF delegates throw their weight behind 18-team league

Delegates of the football federation have said they are ready to give the sport’s administrators mandate to run the local league and open its operations for competitive bidding.

The branch chairmen and secretaries said they will resort to the measure if the Kenyan Premier League Limited fails to comply with the federation’s latest directives.

The Football Kenya Federation and Kenyan Premier League limited are at loggerheads over the federation’s  proposal to have a hand in all aspects of running the league from next year, including their proposal for a 18-team league.

Nyanza West Branch chairman Philip Owoti told a press conference on Tuesday that all the branches affiliated with the federation have endorsed the federation’s move to have among other things an 18-team league.

He warned of dire consequences for those opposed to the decision.

“We are in total support for the positions taken by the federation. All the recommendations were discussed fully on our Annual General Meeting and are irreversible. Issues like the expanding of the league are provided for under article (a) of our constitution which we must implement.

“We urge KPL to comply with these directives but in the unlikely event that KPL fails to fully comply, we mandate the federation to take up the running of the league and open it for competitive bidding,” said Mr Owoti.

Currently the premier league is played by 16 clubs.

Mr Owoti also said that clubs which will not have met the December 15 deadline to register themselves with the federation will not be recognized.

“KPL is not a member of the federation and we demand that all the premier league clubs pay the registration fee in order to become member affiliates. In the event that the clubs fail to meet he deadline, we mandate the National Executive Council to replace them as we plan for the 2015 season,” he said.

It is  unclear how many clubs have registered so far with the federation.

Mombasa branch chairman Omar Mohammed said that the federation is already sourcing for resources to support the league in the likely event that sponsors SuperSport and East Africa Breweries Limited pull out.

“We are not bound whatsoever by SuperSport, so the question of what will happen once they pull out does not arise. We are engaging potential partners and sponsors to realize the 18-team premier league format and I can assure you that it will be a success,” he said.

Kenyan Premier League chief executive officer was unavailable for comment.