The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) is the top football division in Kenya. It was established in 1963 under the Kenya Football Federation, making it one of the oldest and most coveted soccer leagues in the country. It is now governed by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), with many clubs participating in it. The KPL is also known as the SportPesa Premier League due to sponsorship reasons.
The KPL is competed by eighteen clubs every season. It adopts a double round-robin system where each club plays the other club twice, with one of the fixtures taking place at their home stadium and the other contested at the opponents’ home ground. That makes up for a total of 34 games for every side per term. A victory fetches three points, a draw fetches one and nothing is awarded for a loss.
Clubs are ranked by total points accumulated, followed by goal difference and then the total number of goals scored. The team that emerges on top with the highest number of points is crowned champion at the end of the term. If two or more teams hold equal points, goal difference and the total number of goals scored is used to separate them. Should they remain tied even after using those parameters, then, head-to-records will be used to determine who comes out on top.
A playoff game at a neutral venue is used to decide the ranking whenever there is a tie for the championship, relegation or qualification into other competitions after the campaign. The two teams at the bottom of the table are relegated to the National Super League (NSL) while the two teams in the NSL summit are promoted to the Kenyan top-flight. For the third spot, the 16th-placed team in the KPL will face-off with the 3rd placed team in the NSL to decide who takes it up.
The 2019/2020 campaign has already kicked off in the Kenyan Premier League, with teams having played between 10 and 13 games already. Eighteen teams are participating in the league. Last season’s champions, Gor Mahia FC have taken an early lead once again, as the Nairobi-based club sit comfortably on top of the league standings with 25 points from 10 games.
Tusker FC lead the chasing pack with 24 points while the likes of Kakamega Homeboyz, Kenya CB, Sofapaka, Western Stima, Ulinzi Stars, Leopard, Mathare United, and Posta Rangers join them to make the top-10 teams on the table. The likes of Zoo FC, Bandari FC, Wazito, Nzoia Sugar, Kariobangi Sharks, Kisumu All-Stars, Chemelil FC, and Sony Sugars, occupy the rest of the KPL table.
The Kenyan Premier League never fails to witness outstanding performances from players in the division every season. This term, several footballers have stepped into the limelight as a result of their fantastic displays for their respective clubs. One such name is Jacques Tusiyenge.
The attacker has been a revelation for Gor Mahia FC this season. He found the back of the net in his first two games for the club and has since then been an incredible figure in front of goal. Another player to keep an eye on in the KPL this season is Anthony Kimani, as the playmaker continues to impress with his energetic performances this season to keep Bandari FC in the hunt for major honours.
Tusker FC’s Collins Shivachi also ranks among the players to watch out for in the first division this term. The full-back has been a real revelation so far, with his busting runs down the flank. Other players who could also light up the KPL this season are John Makwatta and Clifton Miheso.
As it stands, the best football club in Kenya is Gor Mahia FC. The club has one of the biggest fanbases in the country and it is well-reputed for playing an attractive style of football.
Kenyan clubs have attracted many sponsorship deals in the past few years, with many of the outfits experiencing big boosts in revenue. Nevertheless, Nairobi-based side, Gor Mahia FC remains the richest club in the KPL right now, with a worth of Ksh 65 million. The club raises around Ksh 30 million from gate charges and additionally gets about Ksh 29.5 million from sponsorship deals, while the rest come from other avenues.
Gor Mahia FC is the most successful club in Kenya football. The club has won the most KPL titles in history, with a whopping 17 triumphs over the years. They are also the defending champions after claiming the league title last season and are currently top of the table, with 25 points from 10 games this term.