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FKF added flair to leagues with relegation, promotion battles at end of season

Byadmin

Jun 20, 2024

By Kenn Okaka

When the current Football Kenya Federation (FKF) administration took over the running of Kenya’s top football league, the FKF Premier League, from the private entity Kenyan Premier League in the country,  several aspects of play, which are done in many other countries were introduced.

The Nick Mwendwa administration brought in the promotion, relegation criterion, which sees the team finishing in the 16th league position play with the third placed team in the second tier, National Super League in a promotion-relegation play-off match.

The playoffs gives the 16th team a lifeline to remain in the FKFPL or get relegated to the National Super League (NSL), while the third team in the NSL has a chance to be promoted to the premier league. This criterion is applied across all leagues to include the FKF Division one as well as the women’s premier league and second division.

This modus operandi was a game changer. It has proven to add flair and enthusiasm to the leagues going into the final stages of leagues with teams fighting nail and tooth to either earn a chance to the FKFPL or avoid the relegation play offs.

With Gor Mahia already secured their unprecedented 21st league title, and Nzoia Sugar relegated, matches will still be electrifying as the league come to a close  this weekend.

Sofapaka, seated precariously at number 16 will host bottom side Nzoia Sugar at Dandora Stadium. Muhoroni Youth and Shabana, both also in the danger zone play against Posta Rangers and Muranga Seals respectively with both sides seeking to bag wins and hope that other teams will mathematically post results to their favor. Sofapaka will be seeking for a win against Nzoia and hope that Shabana loses to Muranga Seals to avoid going into the playoffs.

The fun does not end there, in the National Super League, both Mara Sugar and Math are United have earned promotion to the FKF Premier league with two matches to go while Naivas and Nairobi United will put up a spirited fight to finish in the third position and earn a chance to go into the promotion playoffs hoping to land their feet into the top tier league. Naivas and Nairobi United are separated by one point after match day 36 while at the bottom, Kajiado FC, Mombasa Elite and Mulembe United hang on the balance amid looming relegation to the FKF division one. Already,  Gusii and bottom placed Silibwet have an un-sailable gap to cover meaning that even if they win the remaining two matches, they have already been relegated. 

 Kajiado FC will this weekend host Luanda Villa while Mombasa Elite have a date away to Darajani Gogo. Mulembe United will play SS Assad in a clash where both teams will be seeking to win and stay clear of the bottom.

With these dynamics, Kenyan leagues have been revitalized, thanks to the FKF under Mwendwa as now unlike in yesteryears, the tail end of leagues get juicy even with fixtures in the second half of the table having high stakes as teams battle to remain afloat by avoiding the relegation axe.

Kenn Okaka is the Head of Communications at Football Kenya Federation 

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