The 2021/2022 FKF Premier League season kicks off this weekend, after a month-long hiatus, amid financial instability with the lack of league sponsors who pulled out of their deals after falling out with the federation.

This was followed by termination of the partnership with Odibets by Football Kenya Federation.

“The Football Kenya Federation has terminated its partnership with Odibets with immediate effect due to breach of contract by the betting firm,” FKF said in a statement dated September 22, 2021.

The 18 participating clubs are however deemed financially stable, having attracted sponsors who will support their endeavours throughout the season.

Nine matches are on the weekend menu, with champions Tusker FC lifting the lid off their title defence at home to AFC Leopards having reinforced their squad with 12 new signings, not only for their title defence but also for continental assignments, the CAF Champions League.

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Tusker FC celebrate winning the 2020/21 FKF Premier League title at Utalii Grounds in Nairobi. The Brewers are up against AFC Leopards in their league opener. PHOTO/COURTESY

This is however a sharp contrast to their opponents AFC Leopards who are yet to sign any player despite losing several key players (among them ex-captain Robinson Kamura, Elvis Rupia, Hansel Ochieng, Collins Shichenje, Clyde Senaji, Benjamin Ochan, John Oyemba,) with assistant coach Tom Juma insisting they will get the job done with the available players.

“The players we have promoted from the youth team have got what it takes to compete at the top level. We begin the season with the objective to win the title the current issues notwithstanding,” he is quoted by Citizen Digital.

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AFC Leopards lost a number of key players among them Elvis Rupia (centre) but are yet to make any signings. PHOTO/COURTESY

Experienced coach Robert Matano who led Tusker to their 12th league title and a first since 2016, wants to bag it for the second successive season and their opener remains vital in anchoring their title defence.

“We want to defend the title. We want to win everything possible. The players we have signed are settling in well and we expect everyone to play their part in all the competitions we feature in,” Matano said.

Matchday One fixtures

Saturday

Posta Rangers vs Kariobangi Sharks (Thika Stadium)

Talanta FC vs Wazito FC (Ruaraka Grounds)

Bandari FC vs Mathare United (Mbaraki Grounds)

Vihiga Bullets vs Bidco United (Bukhungu Stadium)

Gor Mahia vs KCB FC (Thika Stadium)

Sofapaka FC vs Nairobi City Stars (Ruaraka Grounds)

Sunday

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Police FC (Bukhungu Stadium)

Ulinzi Stars vs Nzoia Sugar (ASK Grounds, Nakuru)

AFC Leopards vs Tusker FC (Thika Stadium)

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