KPL Chairman Ambrose Rachier Weighs In On Sticky Issue Of League’s Fate

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that they will consult Football Kenya Federation (KPL) and CAF, the Africa’s football body, on the best way to conclude 2019-20 league season.

All football activities were halted in the country in March to help curb person to person spread of the COVID-19.

Rachier further disclosed that the KPL supreme governing body, Governing Council, intends to meet via video conferencing to deliberate on the matter and take a common stand.

This after CAF, in a letter to all its 54 member associations, requested by deadline Tuesday next week to be furnished with details on how the members intend to end their respective domestic leagues and cup competitions to help them plan for next season.

Rachier, who is also the chairman of Gor Mahia, while refusing to give his person opinion on the matter for conflict of interest, admitted KPL is in a dilemma since they have not been faced by a situation like the one we are currently in the past hence the need to consult before making any call.

“It’s hard for me to comment on the matter for conflict of interest, but as KPL we intend to consult FKF and CAF on the best way to end the league.

“We have not been in a situation like this before so there’s no presidence on how to deal with it,” said Rachier.

“We intended to wait until the Coronavirus pandemic clears to resume the league but the communication from CAF puts us in a situation whereby we have to take a stand before Tuesday next week,” he added.

The 2019-20 KPL was scheduled to end on 23 May, while the new to season was to start on 1 August.

FIFA chief doctor, Michel d’Hooghe, on Tuesday advised against rushed resumption of football activities, warning it could erode gains so far made in the fight against Coronavirus.

According to Michel, football should not resume before September.

In light of the developments, FKF, through the Chief Executive Officer, Barry Otieno has declared the KPL season will not resume and that they will apply their rules to decide the winners as well as relegation and promotion.

“We will have to end the league now because the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us and Caf are asking for our response in eight days,” Otieno told Goal.

“In a nutshell, the league will not resume and we will use the rules in FKF books to declare the winner and teams to be relegated. We will pass the same to KPL so that they can implement the same.”

According to the rules, in case of a force majeure and the league cannot resume, if less than 75% of matches have been played, as the present case, then league standings as at half season is applicable in determining the winner.

But in a quick rejoinder, KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, has insisted the fate of the league rests on their shoulders.

“We will know the fate of the league when the 21 days added by the government as a curfew to contain Covid-19 come to a close,” Oguda told Goal.

“It is unfortunate FKF have quickly moved to make a decision that the league will not continue but all I know the league will still be played if and when we contain the virus.

“Furthermore, it is KPL who are mandated to run the league and who can decide the fate of the same, clubs are only affiliated to FKF but the league is managed by KPL so we have the final say, and it I think FKF are not sure of what they are saying.”

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.


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