Compared to the 2010 season, Kenya’s second tier league the Nationwide in 2011 was considered to be a whole lot better in many aspects.
While discussing other matters on Friday October 2010, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Governing Council touched on the Nationwide and expressed serious doubts and concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s second tier league which was run by Football Kenya Limited (FKL).
Then, the league was seen to dogged by major complaints amongst them biased refereeing, un-played games and board room award of points.
The biggest beneficiaries of the above, it was claimed, were Bandari and Congo United who earned promotion to the 2011.
In the 2011 season, the major complaints of occurrences in 2010 were greatly reduced after the formation of an oversight committee, the Nationwide Football League (NFL) which became a big brother that closely monitored FKL’s running of the 16-team league.
Cases of un-played games, irregular and rampant fixtures changes were unheard off but two major aspects were beyond the NFL’s mandate; bad playing surfaces and suspect refereeing.
a myriad of walkovers
It is from this stand point that Robert Muthomi, the CEO of Nakuru AllStars is calling on Kenya’s new football governors’ Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to address the issues that plagued the nationwide leagues in 2011.
- From officiating to violence being meted out on referees and sub-standard playing pitches there were some problems with the nationwide league and we hope with a new administration that this problems will be a thing of the past, he said to futaa.com
As the FKL league ran in 2011, another Nationwide League organized by Kenya Football Federation (KFF) was also active. But while the FKL had no cases of un-played games, the KFF league was characterized by a myriad of walkovers that diluted its quality.
East and West
Finances, lack of that is, was pointed out as one of the reasons for the many walkovers and Muthomi hopes that clubs from both the FKL and KFF leagues drawn up to play in the second tier will have financial backing to be able to honor matches in the country's second best league.
- There should be no issues of teams unable to honor matches. This is the league a heartbeat away from the premiership and teams should have a professional attitude towards the game, he said
The second tier league now branded as FKF Division One will have two zones each with 16 teams; one to cater for teams East and West of Nairobi. Nakuru AllStars will feature in the Western Zone.