•Eldoret Falcons chair accuses FKF of releasing WPL fixtures on short notice without consulting stakeholders
•Many WPL teams are not currently training due to lack of training grounds
•FKF CEO Barry Otieno however asserts that it is under no obligation to consult anyone when developing fixtures
Eldoret Falcons chairman Joshua Ariko has accused Football Kenya Federation (FKF) of disrespecting Women Premier League clubs.
Ariko lamented that FKF released the 2020/21 WPL fixtures on short notice compared to their male counterparts in the FKF Premier League and National Super League.
“I think as women teams in this country, we are left behind. It is not good that the federations release the fixture and they want us to start the league in less than one month. The federation has favoured men clubs, relegating women clubs to the mercy of the management,” he said.
He said that many WPL teams have minimal time for training in preparation for the resumption of the league in November.
Furthermore, many of them depend on educational institutions for training grounds most of which remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For now we don’t know if the fields are ready for use. We need to prepare our teams as well as players for the league, which is not easy. We don’t know if the institution will agree to help us with the pitch in this coronavirus era,” added Ariko.
In the past, the WPL side has been training at the University of Eldoret.
In response, FKF CEO Barry Otieno said that football federations do not need to consult anyone when developing football fixtures.
“Football resumption is not in our hands but with the ministry of sports and ministry of health. As we speak today, we have the fixture but we are not sure if we will play or not, though resumption is gradual,” Otieno said.
He added that the dates are only temporary and subject to the government's approval.
“As a federation, we have timelines to work with. It’s a joint effort by other bodies to manage football. We have fixture congestion and Coronavirus has created a unique condition across the world and it is our goal to resume football at all costs," he said.
He said that the release of the fixtures is a first step towards ensuring that footballers countrywide can pursue their source of livelihoods once again.
The fixtures for FKFPL — scheduled to kick off on November 20 — were released on October 14.
NSL, the second-tier men's league, is set for a week later on November 28.
On the other hand, the WPL fixtures were released on November 2 and scheduled for kick-off on the same day as NSL.
Eldoret Falcons will travel to Kitale on the opening weekend to face Trans Nzoia Falcons in a feisty Zone B encounter at the Kenyatta Stadium.
Ariko said that the zone has some of the brightest talents in the country that go unnoticed because the federation does not bother to send scouts.
“Our Zone is not favoured because the federation does not send scouts in search of talents that is why majority of our players don’t make it to the national team,” he said.
He however noted that the teams will be saving on a lot of travelling expenses because they are concentrated in one region.
Meanwhile, the club has signed seven players’ to beef up the squad for the 2020/2021 season majority of whom have recently graduated from high school.
The new arrivals include Faith Rotich (Plateau Girls), Rasoa Shivia (Ibinzu Girls), Providence Khasiala (Nyakach Girls), Mary Ojenge (Nyakach Girls), Noel Shirachiro (Bishop Njenga Girls), Faith Masai (Malava Girls) and Leah Nasimiyu from Malava Girls.
KWPL round One fixtures on 28th November 2020
- Makolanders vs Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (Camp Toyoyo)
- Gaspo vs Zetech Sparks (Gikambura Grounds)
- Kayole Starlets vs Mathare United Women (Camp Toyoyo)
- Ulinzi Starlets vs Thika Queens (Ruiru Grounds)
Zone B opening fixtures on 28th November 2020
- Trans Nzoia Falcons vs Eldoret Falcons (Kenyatta stadium, Kitale)
- Vihiga Queens vs Wadadia Ladies (Mumias Sports Complex)
- Oserian Ladies vs Nakuru West Queens (Oserian Grounds)
- Kisumu Allstarlets vs SEP Girls (Moi stadium, Kisumu)