Official: Gor Mahia are KPL champs; City Stars promoted

The seven leagues under the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have officially come to a close as per the FKF regulations guiding leagues and competitions and in effect, Gor Mahia are the 2019/20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa, speaking to Soka, confirmed that owing to the stoppage of the leagues due to the effects of Covid-19, Gor Mahia, having led the standings at the midseason point, and with the league having not been played up to 75%, will be crowned winners.

City Stars promoted

The same will apply to the second tier, where Nairobi City Stars will earn promotion to the top tier, having led the Betika National Super League at the time.

“We hadn’t played 75% of matches in our leagues at the time of stoppage and this the regulation state that the standings at that time are considered final for all our seven tiers of football. So it means Gor Mahia are champions and we are forwarding their name to CAF for the Champions League next season.

“Nairobi City Stars are promoted to the premier league by virtue of where they were at that time and relegation will follow the same manner. This is a football regulation; the way we have a red card prescribed is the same way we have this regulation,” he said.

Government measures

Mwendwa confirmed that the decision by the football governing authority was forced by the fact that the regulations to combat Covid-19 have restricted movements, making it hard to continue even when the cessation of inter-county movements and night time curfews are lifted.

“We are in lockdown until 16th of May; we don’t know if the President will lift it but for sure no football will be played again in May and possibly in June. To complete the remaining matches in the premier league for example, we need at least six weekends but we also need teams to go back to training and be given at least three weeks to get fit and play again.

“It then means we need at least 10 weeks to execute our league and afterwards, 60 days for preseason. This time is not available and right now we are looking at resuming for a new season on August 7th, which could be behind closed doors,” he added.

Confederations Cup

The effect of this also is that the FKF Betway Cup may not be played beyond the two rounds that had already been played at the time football was suspended in mid March. If it gets to that, it would mean Kenya will not have a team featuring in the CAF Confederations Cup.

“We have asked CAF to tell us the deadline for submission of teams for Confederations Cup. If the deadline is in July and we are in preseason then, we can finish the cup. If the deadline is earlier and there is no time to finish, then it will mean we will not have a team in the competition,” he noted.