Kenya Premier League CEO Jack Oguda has rubbished reports claiming that the league might be cancelled.
“The decision to stop the league can only be done by the Governing Council, who are representatives of the clubs in the KPL,” Oguda said. “So far, most have shown no such intention. They all want to see their respective clubs out there playing football.”
It’s rumoured that this season’s fixtures will be called off due to financial constraints.
Clubs have been enduring tough times as well as the league itself. Former champions Sony Sugar failed to honour their home fixture against AFC Leopards. This was the latest signal that teams are struggling.
“It is sad that Sony did not honour their match. Their struggles can be traced to the well-documented allegations of sugar cartels importing sugar rendering, sugar manufacturing companies. Several of whom support football, insolvent.
“I think Sony is a victim of this and despite their request to have their game against AFC postponed, they were outside the set regulations and hence the walkover.” Oguda explained.
The KPL CEO urged clubs to participate as they continue their search for partners to bring money back to the game. Title sponsors SportPesa recently withdrew from the league.
Clubs in need
An official petition initiated by Kakamega Homeboyz cited reasons why the league matches should be suspended. They want the KPL to convene a special Governing Council meeting to discuss the way forward.
With five rounds of matches played so far, match officials are yet to be paid a single penny. KPL is yet to find a sponsor and have no funds for administrative costs.
“Some institutional clubs receive sponsorship but we have to ask ourselves if it is enough to sustain them through a season. As KPL we are out looking for naming rights to our league,” explained Oguda.
“We are also searching for a suitable broadcast for our league. If we are successful we will be able to support the clubs with grants and also pay referees.”
Oguda asked the government to speed up the renovation of stadiums – particularly Nyayo stadium which will be used to improve match day revenue for clubs.
By: Bree Mongina (@beebree0)