KPL agrees to Thika, Ushuru play-off match

Thursday November 30 2017

Thika United forward Onwudi Chibueze (right) charges past Bandari defender Bernard Odhiambo during their SportPesa Premier League clash at Thika Sub-County Stadium on November 18, 2017. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO |

Thika United forward Onwudi Chibueze (right) charges past Bandari defender Bernard Odhiambo during their SportPesa Premier League clash at Thika Sub-County Stadium on November 18, 2017. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By VINCENT OPIYO
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The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Governing council has agreed on the relegation play-off pitting 16th placed SportPesa Premier League (SPL) finishers Thika United and third-placed National Super League (NSL) outfit Ushuru.

Eighteen chairpersons representing SPL clubs met on Thursday morning to address Football Kenya Federation's (FKF) proposal of a two-leg play-off to determine one more slot for an 18-team top-flight league.

“The council has advised Thika United to honour the playoff. It’s upon them to take it or not but from our position, they have our blessings. It’s a practice in most leagues around the world, there’s no harm if we adapt it. At the same time we don’t want a war of words with the football governors,” a senior member of the council, who is not authorized to speak to the media told Nation Sport on Thursday.

The Council however asked FKF to reschedule the matches to give the two teams’ ample time to prepare. The first leg, which was set for this Saturday has since been moved to December 10, with the return fixture set for December 13.

When contacted, Thika United Secretary General Mike Muriuki said the club was yet to get communication from KPL.

“I have not been notified of their resolution in writing. Until I get it and read through, only then can I comment,” he told Nation Sport.

The two teams met twice in the top flight last season, Thika winning 1-0 in the second leg played in October, while the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in February.

Vihiga United and Wazito sealed their places in the top-flight league after finishing first and second in the second tier league, replacing relegated Western Stima and Muhoroni Youth.

Ushuru, who went down last season, faltered on the final day of the NSL to finish third on 78 points, while Thika United’s 1-0 win over Bandari on the final day aided them to a 16th finish with 38 points.


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