Mwendwa Was Very Right To Declare Gor Mahia KPL Champions, Say Coaches

KPL should respect the decisions made by Nick Mwendwa because he is the one directly in charge of football activities in Kenya, two coaches have said.

FC Talanta’s Ken Kenyatta and the Kenya National U-20 assistant coach Hamisi Mohammed have therefore called upon local football stakeholders, including the management of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), to respect the decisions made by Mwendwa, whom they said is most suited to guide the country appropriately in his capacity as the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president.

Speaking on Friday afternoon while addressing journalists in response to a letter written by KPL to Confederation of African Football (CAF) opposing Mwendwa’s decision to crown Gor Mahia champions, Kenyatta said that FKF as the national body tasked with football assignments had every right to decide on the fate of the league in the wake of Covid-19.

“FKF directly presides over all football activities in the country. KPL’s work is to draw fixtures. Nick Mwendwa is our boss and so he best understands the rules of the game. My work as a coach is to prepare my team in readiness for a match. Administrative work is entirely in the docket of the FKF president.”

His views were supported by Hamisi who said that FKF had the final say on such matters as long as it had applied the given laws.

“If there is a law supporting Gor Mahia’s win and the federation is convinced of the win, I don’t see any problem with such a decision.”

Hamisi further said that it was only proper to decide the fate of the league because everyone wanted to know the way forward.

“Participants can only be contented when a competition concludes and there are teams that are promoted after emerging at the top, and there are those that qualify to represent the country in continental assignments. The best we can do now as stakeholders is to respect FKF’s decision,” said Hamisi.

The federation came under heavy salvo after its president Nick Mwendwa took to his twitter account and proclaimed Gor Mahia FC the new KPL champions, a move that did not go down well with rival clubs who thought that the federation had denied them an equal opportunity to lift the title if the competition had been allowed to run its full length.

Kakamega Homeboyz owner Cleophas Shimanyula hurled invectives to Mwendwa accusing him of rushing to end the league in order to salvage a team he owns (Kariobangi Sharks) whom he was convinced were on their way to relegation.

“Mwendwa should have just told us he is trying to protect Kariobangi Sharks from relegation because he must have known if the league was going to continue, the team would have been dropped from the KPL. I am 100% sure Kariobangi Sharks were going to be relegated. Mwendwa had to find a way to protect them,” said an enraged Shimanyula

Mwendwa has since stood his ground, insisting that he invoked rule of Rules Governing Kenyan Football.

The rule states thus: “Where the league format due to circumstances of force majeure fails to be completed within the season, the league winner shall be determined as follows; Where all the Clubs in the league have completed the first round fixture but less than 75% league games have been played, the table standings at the end of the first round shall be considered as the final table standing of the league.”

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had written to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) seeking to know how it was planning to settle the matter concerning the suspended leagues and requested, if possible, to be given the name of Kenya’s representatives in the Champions League and the Caf Confederation Cup.

A statement delivered to newsrooms on April 30 by FKF communications office through Kenn Okaka further explained the need to bring the competitions to a halt.

“Following the Covid -19 situation in Kenya and the recent public health regulations announced by the Government, including the extension of the ongoing curfew and cessation to May 16, 2020, banning of all public gatherings of more than 15 individuals and the indefinite closure of all stadiums has made it untenable to conclude the 2019/2020 league season in time for the kickoff of the 2020/2021 season.”

A section of football stakeholders have however sprang to Mwendwa’s defence, commending him for standing firm in his decision. Barely a couple of days after Mwendwa reached the controversial decision, Nairobi Stima chairman Johnstone Akwabi Sakwa came out in his full support.

“It is in the best interest of football in the country to allow the strides made through the current leadership of the FKF, and in particular Mwendwa to continue. My opinion is based on several facts of football I have seen since he took over,” he said.

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Written by Senior Editor