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Wazito coach blasts Transition Committee ahead of playoffs

The first leg of the playoffs pitting the KPL side against their NSL counterparts Murang'a Seal will be staged at Thika Stadium this afternoon.

In Summary

•TC had initially scheduled the first leg of the playoff for July 30 at Nyayo Stadium before Muhoroni Youth rushed to court to stop the playoffs.

•Wazito wrapped up the top-tier season third from the bottom while Seal finished third in the NSL to seal slots in the playoffs. 

Tusker's Clyde Senaji (L) fights for the ball with Elli Asieche of Wazito during their premier league clash at Kasarani.
Tusker's Clyde Senaji (L) fights for the ball with Elli Asieche of Wazito during their premier league clash at Kasarani.
Image: FILE

Wazito head coach, Fred Ambani, has bashed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transition Committee over its contentious decision to change the dates of the promotion and relegation playoffs.

The opening tie of the two-legged showdown pitting the Kenyan Premier League side against their National Super League counterparts Murang'a Seal is set for Thika Stadium this afternoon.

The teams will face off again in the reverse fixture at St. Sebastian Park in Murang'a on Sunday, with the aggregate score winner sealing a spot in the next Kenyan Premier League season that kicks off on August 27.

TC had initially scheduled the first leg of the playoff for July 30 at Nyayo Stadium. 

In an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Ambani said the adjustments caught his team flat-footed and threw his preparations off balance.

“I'm disappointed in the way football is managed in this country. I had prepared the team for the playoffs last week only to be told that the matches had been postponed to August 4th,” Ambani said.

“Such occurrences only serve to demoralize teams. A coach needs to plan. After we received news that the playoffs had been postponed, we lessened our activities.

“But then, we again received a letter on Wednesday telling us we have a match the following day on Thursday. Is that the kind of organization we want?”

“Some decisions are detrimental to the growth of football in the country.”

“Again, I had prepared my team with the smooth playing surface of Nyayo Stadium in my mind. Suddenly, we are notified that the match has been switched to Thika Stadium. We all know the condition of the facility's pitch. It's too pathetic,” decried Ambani.

However, in a rebuttal, TC's head of leagues and competitions Ali Amour was emphatic that Wazito had picked the venue after being made aware Nyayo would not be available for the tie.

“Wazito wrote informing us that Nyayo would not be available for use and they alternatively settled on Thika Stadium,” Amour said.

“All the players who featured last season are legible to be fielded in the playoffs before the closure of the ongoing transfer window,” Amour said.

TC revealed the dates of the playoffs on Wednesday in a letter signed by the head of secretariat Lindah Oguttu.

The letter came hot on the heels of a decision made on Tuesday by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) ordering the two-legged playoff match to proceed.

SDT had earlier placed an injunction halting the clash following a case filed by NSL side Muhoroni Youth.

Ms Cynthia Gachara, an advocate representing Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala applied for the certificate of urgency.

Muhoroni argued that TC is yet to issue rulings on three cases involving the club which if concluded could fire them to second place on the log, effectively earning them automatic promotion.

The Independent Disciplinary and Appeals Committee (IDAC) had earlier ordered TC to review the NSL table as Zoo FC were not eligible to play the second-tier matches in the 2021/22 season.

Wazito wrapped up the top-tier season third from the bottom while Seal finished third in the NSL to seal slots in the playoffs.