Tusker set to get CAF slot as June 30 deadline looms
Betking Kenya Premier League table toppers Tusker FC are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of representing the country in the lucrative 2021/22 CAF Champions League.
The Ale Men, who last laid their hands on the league title in 2016, have an advantage in that they are still in the driving seat of the top league with only two days remaining to the June 30 deadline Confederation of African Football has given Football Kenya Football Federation to submit the name of Kenyan emissaries in the event.
It appears Tusker shall be declared the Kenyan representatives with the top-tier league having not gone full stretch with 11 rounds of matches remaining.
The status is supported by the fact that Tusker’s closest challengers in KCB and AFC Leopards, who lie second and third respectively in the standings, have no midweek action to earn them points to overtake the leaders.
As things stand, Tusker are leading the standings with 44 points followed by KCB (43 points), AFC Leopards (40 points), Gor Mahia (38 points), Nairobi City Stars (32 points), Bandari (31 points), Kariobangi Sharks (31 points), Ulinzi Stars (28 points), Kakamega Homeboyz (27 points) and Wazito (27 points).
Obviously, the latest development will not go down well with clubs that were hopeful of challenging Tusker for the league gong.
On May 16, the federation announced that the team which shall be leading the standings on June 30 will represent Kenya in the 2021-22 CAF Champions League.
In a circular sent to clubs, the federation has stated that CAF’s directive to have names forwarded to them for representatives in inter-club competitions necessitated the decision.
Reached for comment, Tusker coach Robert Matano was non-committal on the team being declared the football kings.
However, Leopards Chairman Dan Shikanda accused the federation of applying double standards.
“Clubs have dutifully tried to win the league but what can you say when Gor Mahia were declared champions last season before the June 30 deadline then the same rules were bent in the subsequent season?’’ posed Shikanda.