Amidst growing tension and uncertainty following FKF’s decision to suspend the league, Gor Mahia chairman, Mr. Ambrose Rachier who is also the immediate former chairman of the Kenya Premier League Limited, has called on FKF President Mr. Nick Mwendwa to reconsider his decisions and act in the best interest of Kenyan Football .
Following a persistent pull and push between KPL and FKF, Nick Mwendwa issued a statement on Tuesday 7th of February suspending the league until further notice. The statement also announced bans for four top KPL leadership among them Mr. Rachier on grounds of bring the game into disrepute.
Speaking in an exclusive interview for the Kenyanstar of the Week Column, Rachier said, “I plead with the all powerful leader of football in this country to rethink his decision. We are powerless and do not want to defy him. We also do not wish to engage in a fight with him. We are getting late for the commencement of the league and any further delays will make it difficult for us to have a successful season.”
Mr. Rachier has however downplayed the ban slapped on him saying it had negligible impact on the growth of football. “Football is not about an individual. The game doesn't gain by suspending leaders. You deal with the problem directly. If you suspend or ban Rachier, the person who comes in next will find the same problem,” opined the Gor-Mahia boss.
Rachier further went on to lay blame on the FKF president for failing to provide leadership and direction. He called on the president to exercise restraint and bring all parties to the table if a solution for Kenyan football was to be found. “The constant wrangles are not good for football. We need leadership from the top. As a leader, you cannot be crying foul always. What is the problem? Good leaders bring harmony and find solution to problems,” he noted.
With the wrangles growing on, a couple of teams are staring at a bleak future, following their promotion or relegation on different bases. Amongst those whose fate is still not yet clear are Muhoroni Youth, Sofapaka, KCB and Vihiga United.
KPL and FKF have been tangled in a circus, with the issue of 18 teams still a big elephant in the room. Rachier told Kenyanstar that FKF was insincere and that the promotion and relegation of teams was not done according to previous agreements between the two parties. He noted that the two bodies had agreed that any promotion and the size of the league would be deliberated upon by both parties, something FKF ignored.
On Muhoroni and Sofapaka, whose fate still lies in the balance, Rachier said, “There is nowhere in the CAF club licensing rules where it’s stated that a club will be relegated on the basis of failing to comply. There are sanctions, but not relegation.”
Speaking further on the promotion saga, the Gor Mahia chairman said “Good leadership is anchored on the rule of law and best practise. One of the best practices is that the professional body that runs the league, advises on the number of teams to play and if it is achievable. The rule of law simply refers to the system of doing things. There has to be a system of promoting and relegating teams. Otherwise, you will be presiding over chaos where anyone can be promoted and relegated at will”
Rachier called out Nick Mwendwa, accusing him of failing to follow set rules in promoting teams.
“The current leadership has a fixed mind set. That is why there is an attempt to promote 6 teams. This is rewarding sycophancy , as you are bringing the people that voted for you. Sporting merit is not political expediency.” The outgoing KPL Chairman further raised questions on Nick Mwendwa’s integrity saying, “You also have to raise questions where some teams have been for over 16 years only to be promoted once somebody becomes President?”
Rachier however, expressed regrets with the wrangles and noted that he hoped sanity would be restored.
Mr. Rachier's long ranging Interview for the Kenyanstar of the Week column will be published later in the week.