Poor planning has once again punctuated the start of the 2017 season, with football stakeholders spending more time in the corridors of justice than in the boardrooms to plan for what looks like a grueling season ahead.
After the relegation of Ushuru and City Stars from top flight football last season, there was more to come. Nyanza based outfit Muhoroni Youth joined Thika United and Sofapaka as Football Kenya Federation booted the trio for failure to comply to CAF Club licensing guidelines. What followed was the quick promotion of among others; Kariobangi Sharks and Nakumatt FC who have been busy in the transfer window. Muhoroni Youth already condemned FKF’s decision to expel them, and county neighbors Homeboyz FC have voiced their support for Moses Adagala’s men.
While Adagala has insisted that he side will stay play in the top flight league FKF has remained silent, opting to fight other fires with KPL Limited. The d**k sizing contest between FKF and KPL did not commence this year. The Sam Nyamweya led regime set the stage for the grueling battle that has now Nick Mwendwa trying to chest out KPL. The two football bodies are engaged in the courts, with neither of them ready to cede ground on the issue of an 18-team league. While FKF insists that it will provide funds for the additional teams, KPL has insisted that it has to be shown the money before admitting more teams. It is here that the battle gets tougher; FKF, which sits on the KPL Governing Council has also insisted that KPL must bring to the table all contracts between them and any partners, an issue KPL has not agreed to.
Interestingly, as the wars grow on, the league is just about two weeks away. The traditional season opener-KPL Dstv Cup- has been postponed. The 2017 season league fixtures are yet to be released, and an eerie silence surrounds the fate of the 2017 season. Despite clubs going about their transfer business, many have wondered why KPL is yet to announce any plans for the season.
The issue of venues remains another headache. Nyayo Stadium is set to be shut down for renovations. City Stadium too remains closed. A number of clubs, amongst them AFC leopards who use Nyayo as their home grounds are facing an uncertain future and are looking at the possibilities of playing their home ties at some below par grounds. AFC Leopards secretary General Oscar Igaida was quoted this week, saying that the club is looking at Embu as an alternative home ground.
It certainly beats logic how with just a couple of weeks to the start of the season, abnormal is the new normal. The league organizers and clubs are yet to get some basics right. Awful.