Gor Mahia are the 2019/2020 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions for the fourth season running.
This comes after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa said on Thursday they will be forwarding the club’s name to Caf as the country’s representative in the champions league.
“We have a deadline with Caf which is set for Tuesday and we will forward Gor Mahia’s name as champions for the 2018/2019 season. We cannot play the league anymore and I ask Gor Mahia and other clubs to start preparing for next season, said Mwendwa.
Mwendwa’s statement was echoed by the federation’s CEO Barry Otieno who said that the deadline given by Caf warrants a prompt response.
“We will have to end the league now because Covid-19 is still with us and Caf is asking for our response in eight days. 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 it,” said Otieno.
Mwendwa took to his Twitter account to congratulate Gor Mahia well in advance for clinching the KPL title.
“Congratulations Gor Mahia ! You are champions once again and you will represent Kenya in the champions league next season. Let’s do this!”
Gor Mahia has 54 points from 23 matches with Homeboyz and Tusker placed second and third on 47 and 46 points respectively, although both having played a game less.
Effectively, Nairobi City Stars and Bidco United have booked themselves KPL slots in the next season after topping the National Super League.
“Nairobi City Stars welcome to the premier league. Sasa changamkeni na ma signature moto moto (you may now start signing top talent),” said Mwendwa.
City Stars sit pretty at the summit of the league on 64 points from 26 matches, ten clear of second-placed Bidco United. APS Bomett and Administration Police stare at relegation, both only managings to collect a paltry 17 points from all their games.
Although both leagues were suspended after the outbreak of the coronavirus, FIFA rules mandate home federations to invoke the stipulated rules governing the body in reaching such decisions.
It means, therefore, that Nzoia Sugar and Kisumu All-Stars will have to contend with playing in the play-off against Vihiga United who was ranked third in the NSL to determine who will be making the final 16 KPL teams in the new season. Both trail at the bottom of the standings on 19 points each.
According to FKF principles of promotion and relegation, two clubs from KPL will be relegated and two from the National Super League (NSL) promoted automatically while the third-ranked side from the lower league will play team number 15 from the top league in a play-off to determine one more slot.
All eyes will now be directed to KPL who had earlier said there was no rush to declare the league over.
In a press statement circulated to media houses on April 6, KPL CEO Jack Oguda had written off suggestions to declare the season over.
“Following consultations with the KPL Chairman this is to inform you that the KPL 2019/20 Season remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Oguda.
“As of now, there is no urgency to determine the fate of the current season as the world of football is dealing with unprecedented times as a result of the Coronavirus.