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Bring order to our football



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Followers of local football heaved a sigh of relief when Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenya Premier League (KPL) struck a deal to have a unified top league in 2016. That agreement effectively ended four years of wrangling that had seen the two camps organise two parallel leagues.

Three seasons have since lapsed but KPL and FKF are still at loggerheads. The expanded league has not helped the local game. In fact, the expanded league has been a curse since it created more problems, with clubs enduring endless financial woes.

For the first time in the history of the KPL, walkovers were witnessed this season. In a new low for the league, bottom side Mount Kenya United handed defending champions Gor Mahia a walkover after they failed to turn up for their league match at the Kenyatta Stadium on April 25. Mount Kenya players refused to board the bus to Machakos from their pickup point at City Stadium in Nairobi, citing unpaid dues going back five months.

AFC Leopards were handed three free points on May 1 after Nzoia Sugar failed to turn up at the Bukhungu Stadium following a stand-off over the match venue. The game had been lined up for live television at Bukhungu, but Nzoia, which was the home team, had stuck to their earlier stance that the game should be played at their alternate home-ground in Mumias.

Clearly, all is not well with our topmost football club competition and the blame squarely falls on the football administrators.

Clubs are confronted with a severely congested fixture schedule due to poor planning. The local pitches are also in deplorable shape. KPL and FKF must address these issues urgently or else the standards of the game will degenerate further, and local clubs and national teams will continue to perform poorly at the international stage.

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