Kenyan Premier League clubs wary of Fifa ban

Monday, March 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Austin Odhiambo of AFC Leopards attempts to dribble past Gor Mahia FC midfielders during their Mashemeji derby early this month. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

As the clock ticks towards the April 6 meeting between FIFA, the Sports Ministry and members of the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT), a number of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs have expressed concern that a disagreement could lead to a ban on the country.

The clubs want a quick resolution to the matter and have called for an obedience to the FIFA directive.

Ulinzi Stars chairman Eric Oloo said: “We are well aware that all football federations are obliged to follow the FIFA statutes which gives them a right to enjoy financial assistance including development programmes.”

“A ban will negatively impact on Kenya as we will be barred from taking part in international competitions.

In this case, the losers will be players who will lose out on any revenues as they are only guaranteed of getting revenue when we take part in competitions,” he added. 

He also pointed out the potential loss off training opportunities for coaches and referees something he says will lead to a total mess.

KCB FC Chief Executive Sebastian Ogola said a FIFA ban will lead Kenyan football to the graveyard.

“Without international competitions, we will have nothing to judge ourselves with, leading to low standards.

We must rise above our personal interests and do what is good for our football,” he said.

For Kariobangi Sharks chairman Robert Maoga, the prospect of a FIFA ban cannot be entertained at this time as it will lead to loss of all investments made in the sport.

“We just want to continue playing football as we have invested a lot in young players and infrastructure.

If we get banned, we will lose all this resources and worse, sponsors will run away,” said Maoga, whose team recently signed a shirt sponsorship deal with betting company Betway.

Sofapaka chairman Elly Kalekwa said: “For sure, FIFA will ban Kenya if we do not follow their directive.

We have no choice but to do what they have asked. That will not be the best thing for us at this time because we will have nothing to play for.” 

Kalekwa particularly expressed concern about the inability to sell players incase of a ban something he says will greatly impact club revenues.

AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda, Posta Rangers’ boss John Tonui, Zoo FC’s Ken Ochieng, and Western Stima supremo Laban Jobita.

More on Football