Sofapaka, AFC have busy schedule ahead
Posted Sunday, January 31 2010 at 20:00
From Tuesday until Friday, all players assemble for handy workshops sponsored by the Kenyan Premier League at three centres in the country.
Clear pictures of the composition of teams in the 2010 season will emerge, bringing to an end speculation about transfers. Such transactions ended yesterday with the official closure of the pre-season signing on period.
With every hour seeming to bring another “transfer” bulletin on a club, the news has turned into unreliable buzz. Yet there was no need for that because the KPL secretariat, where the officially completed transfers can only be confirmed, had said, after the transfer deadline, and computing, that the details would be made available.
But few if any players will miss the KPL clinics beginning Tuesday, so for all and sundry, it will be an opportunity to see who is in whose camp.
Tuesday is the kick-off of the clinics and western Kenya teams will assemble in Kisumu. This will be Sony Sugar, Western Stima and Chemelil, the combined force feeling lighter after the loss of their neighbours, Agro Chemicals of Muhoroni, who were off loaded from the Premiership after relegation at the end of last season.
The KPL Chief Executive Officer, Jack Oguda, has outlined the syllabus which players and club administration will be taken through in the clinics.
“It is valuable knowledge that puts everyone on equal footing before the season kicks off,” said Oguda.
Topics to be covered will be: Fifa transfer rules; Fifa disciplinary code, including anti-doping measures in sport; players’ rights; and the laws of the game.
The KPL has been working at making sure that everyone adheres to uniform transfer etiquette. If everyone was conversant, there would be no gray areas and controversial signings would not occur.
Neither would there be claims of player exploitation if the footballers themselves were fully aware of their rights and if clubs took up all their responsibilities.
The full schedule of the workshops:
Tuesday: Kisumu (Sony Sugar, Western Stima, Chemelil); Wednesday, Feb. 3: Nakuru (Sher Karuturi, Ulinzi, Red Berets); Thursday, Feb. 4: Nairobi (Mathare United, Tusker, AFC Leopards, Thika United and Promoted Club 1); Friday, Feb. 5: Nairobi (KCB, Sofapaka, Gor Mahia, Nairobi City Stars and Promoted Club II).
“Our [KPL]teams know each other very well so it is going to be another very competitive season and a small advantage in organisation could settle the outcome,” said Oguda while advising the clubs to make sure all their players attend the seminars.
Some of the best aspects about the shape of KPL teams for the new season have luckily not slipped under the media radar. Stories, for instance, containing financial boosts for champions Sofapaka (sponsorship by Blue Triangle Cement) and Mathare United (Sh20 million backing by Kenya Data Networks) have hogged the headlines.
The season kicks off on February 20 but there will be two weeks of serious action before then. The pre-season Super Cup clash between KPL champions Sofapaka and FKL (Football Kenya Limited) Cup winners AFC Leopards takes place at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
A week later Sofapaka and AFC Leopards will be involved in continental club matches. Sofapaka have a Champions League first round first leg tie with Egypt’s Ismailia in Nairobi while AFC Leopards play Banks of Ethiopia away in a Confederation (CAF) Cup first round tie.
The lack of organisation, particularly pertinent at preparations and run up to crucial international engagements is obviously a concern for KPL; hence the attempts to assist clubs.