Nick Mwendwa threatens Gor Mahia

FKF President Nick Mwendwa has warned Gor Mahia and three other clubs that they risk being left out of the 2020-2021 League if they do not agree to his terms and conditions.

Additional reporting from goal.com

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has warned ‘rebel’ clubs they will not take part in the FKF Premier League if they don’t sign the undertaking to start the 2020-21 season.

The 18 clubs in the top-flight are supposed to sign a commitment with the federation which will allow sponsors to disburse money into their accounts in readiness for the start of the new campaign.

However, four clubs led by champions Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars, Zoo FC, and Mathare United are yet to sign the undertaking, and FKF president Nick Mwendwa has told Goal they face being kicked out of the league altogether.

“We only have one league in Kenya which is run by FKF, so I don’t know which league the four clubs will play in, it is either they sign or forget participating in the same.

“The 14 clubs that have signed the undertaking means they will have their matches aired live by broadcast partners StarTimes, so what will happen will happen to those that have not signed?

“Do you think StarTimes will air matches of teams that have not signed? It is very simple, they must sign to be with us or else, they will not be part of us.”

Already 14 clubs have signed the undertaking with the FKF to start the league, they are Kakamega Homeboyz, AFC Leopards, Bandari, Sofapaka, Western Stima, Bidco United, Nairobi City Stars, KCB, Nzoia Sugar, Kariobangi Sharks, Posta Rangers, Wazito, and Tusker.

On Sunday, the FKF issued a circular for testing all players and officials for Covid-19 ahead of the Premier League kick-off on November 28.

The four teams were not included in the schedule, which is set to kick off on November 23 and run through to November 25 in readiness for the first match of the season on Saturday.

According to the schedule obtained by Goal, the clubs to have their players and officials tested on November 23 are Bidco United, whose exercise will be held at Thika Stadium, Kariobangi Sharks (Utalii Grounds), KCB (Utalii Grounds), and Sofapaka at the same venue.

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League kickoff date is uncertain

Nick Mwendwa

Due to a disagreement about revenue sharing and due to rising Covid 19 cases, the start of the 2020-2021 is in limbo

Additional reporting from the Nation

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections may be long over, but the beautiful game’s administrators are still at war.

A month after FKF President Nick Mwendwa was re-elected in an exercise marred by court battles and squabbles, the bickering between football administrators has shifted to the control of an estimated Sh350 million a year budget for Kenyan Premier League clubs.

This role was initially handled by the Kenya Premier League (KPL) Limited but the company’s 17-year old mandate expired last September and Mwendwa refused to renew it.

The KPL has since been replaced by a new outfit, dubbed FKF Premier League Management Committee, which consists a six-member team chaired by Kenya Commercial Bank football club chairman Azu Ogola.

Under this new outfit, Mwendwa suggests the league’s yet to be unveiled sponsors, namely StarTimes and BetKing, will wire Sh350 million annual sponsorship cash to federation accounts.

Surrender economic rights

FKF will, in turn, transfer an estimated Sh8 million a year to each of the 18 clubs in this competition in form of grants and retain the rest to help in payment of referees, handle administrative issues and pay off some commission to those who brokered the sponsorship deals.

But there’s a catch.

These clubs have to surrender all their economic rights to the federation.

“We have worked hard to bring sponsors on board and the next step is to ensure our top-flight league, which provides the biggest share of national team players, is run in a professional manner,” the FKF boss told Nation Sport.

“This week, we will wire Sh2 million to each club signs an undertaking for us to manage the rights and the competition. We also have imported a golden trophy that will be handed to the team that wins the league.”

But then a number of clubs, including Gor Mahia, Tusker, Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United, Kakamega Homeboyz, and Zoo Kericho, will hear none of this.

“That money is for Premier League clubs. What Mwendwa now wants to do is akin to someone giving his wife all his salary and then borrowing from her money for cigarettes,” argues Zoo Kericho FC chairman Ken Ochieng’.

Ochieng’ insists Mwendwa should, as he promised during the campaign period, facilitate the registration of a new company to manage the league and sponsorship money.

The league clubs will then pay the federation a commission equivalent to 10 percent of the sponsorship money.

Ochieng, Gor Mahia’s Ambrose Rachier, Mathare’s Bob Munro, Ulinzi’s Col. Erick Oloo, and Tusker’s David Aduda also maintain they will not surrender their rights to the federation.

“The federation’s responsibility should end at appointing referees, producing fixtures, and settling disputes. There’s a big distinction between club rights and competition rights. When we compete in the domestic cup, we will never ask for the rights or question anything. But in the league, the club has as much a say in what happens,” adds Ochieng’.

Rising Covid-19 cases

All this while, the players, who are the main stakeholders but have not played competitively since March, languish in uncertainty and poverty as some of them have not been paid for the past five months.

The government last week announced the rising Covid-19 cases and deaths in the country make it difficult for football and other contact sports to resume.

This life and death scenario, it appears, is not among a priority for some of these football administrators who are struggling to distinguish between lives, livelihoods and profits.

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Polack has identified new signings

With the imminent departure of certain key players, coach Polack is looking to strengthen the team ahead of the 2020-2021 season

Additional reporting from Goal

The British tactician reveals to Goal he has opened talks with new players he wants to be signed ahead of the new season
Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has revealed he has identified players he will sign for the club ahead of the new season.

K’Ogalo will be taking part in the Caf Champions League after being declared champions for the 2019-20 campaign after the league was ended owing to the effects caused by the coronavirus effect and will also chase the league and domestic Cup titles.

With that in mind, the British coach has confirmed to Goal he has already identified the areas he will work to strengthen and has gone ahead to engage the new signings who will be unveiled in due course.

“We talking to players in the Kenyan league, we are talking to a lot of Kenyan players and I will not give you the names or positions, just know we are in talks with several players and the talks are very positive for now.

“Let people know, and we have to do it a little more professional, about the transfers because if you start saying the names then everything might fail before they even sign, so we are not going to give names, we will let people know when the deals are done and I want to set the bar, we want to get them all signed first and then we unveil them in one press conference.”

Polack, however, took his time once again to hit out at Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and KPL officials for the uncertainty which is still surrounding the fate of last season.

“You know after the president said there is no social gathering, we are doing nothing, we are still in the dark, will the league continue, was the league ended? In fact, everyone is in the dark.

“Imagine after three months, FKF and KPL have refused to come out and tell us what is happening, we are all in the dark, we don’t know what is happening, it is not good at all for Kenyan football, something needs to be done, and it should be made public.”

While Gor Mahia will take part in the Champions League, Kenya will have no representative in the Caf Confederation Cup.

FKF set to unveil new sponsors for the league

FKF president Nick Mwendwa, who is vying for re-election and who is also intent on taking over the running of the KPL, has announced a deal with a new sponsor.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Bet King, a gaming company with strong roots in Nigeria, could be the new title sponsor of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), Nation Sport understands.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa, in his characteristic fashion, took to Twitter to announce that he had secured a multi million deal for Kenya’s top league.

“Today in history! Over 1.2 billion shillings for the FKF Premier League for 5 seasons,” he tweeted on Wednesday evening.

According to a reliable source, the new sponsor, who will be officially announced on Thursday morning, is Bet King, a company that was founded in 2017 and is fully established and running in Nigeria with Super Eagles legend Jay Jay Okocha as the main brand ambassador.

According to Mwendwa, who was just short of letting the cat out of the bag, the new deal will see each KPL clubs bag Sh8 million per season.

“At least Sh8 million for each club starting 2020/21 season ……..Vijana wacheze ball ! ” he tweeted.

The new deal was signed off on Wednesday evening at a popular hotel in Hurlingham, Nairobi.

Interesting to note is that the federation boss no longer refers to the top league as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), but as the FKF Premier League.

KPL’s mandate to run the league expires in September and Mwendwa is on record saying they are not eager to renew the contract.

According to a reliable source, FKF has been in advanced talks with two prospective sponsors who were interested in securing the title rights for the top league.

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FKF now suspends KPL and its officials

FKF chairman Nick Mwendwa has announced that the Kenya Premier League has been suspended until further notice. In addition, foru KPL officials have been suspended for bringing the game into disrepute.

“KPL and FKF have been at war for over 14 years. We have been doing this over and over again and we can’t keep extending these wars,” infuriated Mwendwa said according to Capital Sports.

Those who will face disciplinary hearings are KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda, Chairman James Musyoki, his vice Ambrose Rachier and Mathare United chairman Bob Munro for going against the federation’s directives despite being part of the JEC.

“FKF disciplinary committee will follow due process and summon individuals to be heard and they will pass a ruling after for us to implement. The three have brought the game into disrepute. We take serious exceptions as a federation in what KPL said in their statement as well as Rachier’s letter going against clear directives,” Mwendwa railed.

Mwendwa is infuriated because KPL announced league fixtures that excluded Zoo Kericho, Nakumatt, Vihiga United and KCB whom Mwendwa had announced were promoted.

“These same people have been at the JEC when we sat and agreed things and now they are going against the very same things we reached resolutions on. Those are blatant lies they are spreading and we can’t as a federation accept because we have facts. There are consequences when you don’t follow regulation,” Mwendwa said.

Instead the schedule included Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth who were demoted for not meeting CAF licensing guidelines.

“We did our regulations and sent to CAF who approved that if you don’t have a club license by end of year 2016, you shall be relegated. I have the details of the AGM meeting. Item number 14 we voted on the proposal to adopt club licensing regulation. We got 70 votes against zero. If a club is not licensed, it will not be in the top tier league,” Mwendwa affirmed.

KPL clubs have been against league expansion to 18 teams. Rachier has noted that this means less money for each team. According to Capital Sports,  Mwendwa also said the financial implication was agreed on at Sh36mn and FKF is expected to deposit Sh24mn to KPL by April.

However, Mwendwa was at pains to substantiate allegations that both Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho had offered to add Sh10mn each to the agreed Sh36mn kitty to cater for an 18-team league, creating a clear conflict of interest as they will benefit from the league expansion.

“What is wrong with that?” Mwendwa posed when asked about the allegation.

 

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List of FKF rules to combat hooliganism

On Tuesday, FKF announced new rules aimed at combating hooliganism in Kenyan stadia.

• An independent Committee involving key stakeholders will be formed to handle all matches involving Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards SC. That these two clubs will no longer appoint security stewards for their matches

• That a player or team official who by their actions is deemed to cause or aggravate crowd trouble or incite fans, players or team officials to actions that could lead to crowd trouble, match disruption or abandonment will be banned for four matches and incur a fine of Kshs 20,000 for the first offence.

A repeat offender will be banned for three hundred and sixty five days (365).

• Any player or team official who attacks or attempts to attack a match official will be suspended for three hundred and sixty five days (365 days). The team that the player plays for will be liable for any and all damages caused to the match official(s).

• That the club whose players or fans are liable for causing the abandonment of a match will;

a) Lose the match on a 2-0, three point basis.

b) Be deducted six points

c) Will play its next home match in an empty stadium. In the event that the team repeats the offence it will be deducted six points and play its next consecutive three matches in an empty stadium. If the team commits the offence for a third time it will be relegated to a lower league and will be fined Five hundred thousand shillings (Kshs 500,000)

• That a spectator who causes a fight or incites crowd violence will be banned from attending all football matches in the country. It will be the responsibility of the team that he/she supports to ensure that the spectator is denied entry. If a club is found guilty of not enforcing this rule the Federation will take appropriate action against the club. This action could be a fine, playing home matches in empty stadiums or deduction of points.

• If a supporter of a particular team invades the field of play with an intention to cause violence on players or match officials, the club that he supports will be fined Kshs 100,000 and play three of its consecutive home matches in an empty stadium.

• These rules will be form the basis of far reaching regulations aimed at tackling the escalating vice of hooliganism and violence in our football. The rules will come into force immediately.

Ngala dismisses new rules

Gor Mahia official Ronald Ngala is unhappy that FKF is comparing Gor Mahia to AFC yet the incident with AFC fans in Mumias was much worse.

“The latest incident was only brought to light after what happened in Mumias and now people are trying to compare us with AFC Leopards yet  the incidences involved in our match was not that bad.” said Ngala to goal.com

Ngala also says that they have not officially heard from sportpesa.

“As a club we have not received any communication from the sponsors about the suspension nor have they engaged us before taking such action,” Ngala told goal.com

Seriousness needed

Ngala and other officials would be best advised to take seriously the threat from sportpesa and reach out to the sponsors. In addition to the rules outlined by FKF, the club should condemn the actions of hooligans and outline the steps it will take.

A suggested by this column several months ago, a portion of the sponsorship money should be spent on beefing up security for both home and away games. There is no reason a fan should have been allowed to accost the referee in the manner he did in front of TV and newspaper cameras.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri for his part has said that the sponsorship will be re-instated when the clubs meet specific conditions set by Sportpesa.

“We have summoned the officials of the teams to meet within the week and we will reinstate this sponsorship once we are satisfied that actions are being taken to curb this vice that has gripped football.

Sponsors will not just sit back and watch as our brand is tarnished. I think we have done so much to enhance security but all these will be in vain if the teams cannot control the fans” said Karauri at the presser

Gor Mahia will therefore need to work diligently and show a higher level of seriousness if they want the sponsorship re-instated soon.

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Nick Mwendwa beats Ambrose Rachier to FKF presidency

Nick Mwendwa who is the proprietor of Kariobangi Sharks has been elected the new FKF chair. He garnered 50 votes. Ambrose Rachier, the Gor Mahia and KPL chair who ran a spirited campaign, garnered 27 votes. Sam Nyamweya, Ssemi Aina and Sammy Shollei all pulled out upon realizing they did not stand a chance.

Ambrose Rachier accepted defeat but said he lost due to bribery

Rachier said: “I must accept the results. It was a clean and transparent exercise here on the floor but what I can complain about is the bribery of delegates.

“With the level of poverty in this country,  it is hard for a delegate to turn down a Sh150,000 bribe,” he claimed. “Some of my delegates asked me to let them go eat the money and come back and it seemed they never came back. I do not have prove but have word that it happened. Now I’ll work with the new chairman,” Rachier said.

Mwendwa ran a well organized campaign that started in June 2015. He has been lobbying and striking deals with stakeholders. This is the largest margin of victory percentage wise. So dominant was Mwenda that the incumbent Sam Nyamweya was forced to bail out along with the flambuoyant Gor Semelango, Ssemi Aina and former Tusker striker Sammy Shollei.

Another significant loser was former Gor Mahia winger Dan Shikanda who lost to Doris Petra in the race for the Vice Chairmanship position. Shikanda who is a Veterinary Doctor, played for Gor Mahia when they won the league in 1993 and again in 1995.

Two former Gor Mahia players vied for the Nairobi NEC seat. The seat was won by Chris Amimo who polled 31 votes. Eric Obura, a former Gor mahia striker from the early 1990s got 10 votes. Ken Oliech, a former Gor Mahia striker from 2005 and 2006 received no votes.

The good news for Gor Mahia fans is thatRachier can now throw his energies towards building and professionalizing this club. He has seen the level of professionalism existent at teams like Esperance. Gor Mahia too can start taking tentative steps in that direction.

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