5 Reasons to Watch the Kenya Premier League (KPL)

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Kenya Premier League
Western Stima custodian Samuel Odhiambo saves a corner kick during their Sportpesa premier league Match with Gor Mahia played at Kasarani Stadium on February 20 2019.PHOTO|SILA KIPLAGAT

The Kenya Premier League is the top-flight football league in the East African country, Kenya. The KPL has been in existence since its formation in 1963.

The league has a total of 18 teams. There is a promotion and relegation system for the bottom three sides to the National Super League, Kenya’s second tier. Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are the two most successful clubs in Kenya, winning 18 and 13 league titles respectfully. 

The following are the top five reasons to watch the Kenya Premier League live in the stadium as opposed to international football on TV.

Talent Factory

KPL

The most exciting thing about the Kenya Premier League is arguably the abundance of raw and untapped talent. The league can be described as a talent factory. Clubs across Europe and Africa have found it a habitable fishing ground for raw talent.

Additionally, football players from neighbouring countries flock to the league because it’s an avenue for exposure from top scouts. The fans have plenty of talent to marvel and enjoy throughout the season. While some argue that this comes at the cost of local youth development in Kenya, there are still plenty of Kenyan players standing out from the array of international talent.

Accessible for All

A large part of football’s popularity in Kenya comes down to its accessibility. It does not cost a lot of money to go watch football when you are in major towns like Nairobi, Kericho, Nakuru, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kisumu.

All you need is a few shillings for the stadium entrance fee and you are good to go. The league was expanded to accommodate 18 teams and for this reason, there are plenty of teams you can watch on matchday.

The Atmosphere

In the 90s all the Kenya Premier League games would flow with fans to the brim regardless of who was playing. However, over the last decade, the numbers have gone down. This should not fool anyone though. Many of the matches outside the capital pull crowds into the stadiums. Matches in Mombasa, Kakamega, Kericho, and Kisumu are some of the best matches you can attend in the Kenya Premier League. In the capital, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards also have loads of fans. 

The teams that enjoy great home support in Kenya include Kakamega Homeboyz (Bukhungu Stadium), Bandari FC (Mbaraki Sports Club), Zoo Kericho FC (Kericho Green Stadium) and traditional giants AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia. 

The Crazy Fans

Spectators are part and parcel of the game. Football fans are known for their unhinged passion for the game. There are fans who are married to the teams that they support.

Many fans have unique attires with their team colours while others simply wear their team’s jerseys. Additionally, there are organised fans who travel the country whenever their team plays.

A Favourable Schedule

The Kenya Premier League schedule changed in 2019 to coincide with most of the leagues in the world. It previously ran from November to February but amendments were made. Now, it runs from August to May. This ensures unlimited supply of football throughout the year. Even though there are international breaks here and there, the schedule is ideal for players and fans. 

In the Kenya Premier League offers plenty of talent, action, and a great atmosphere on every week. So if you are in Kenya and the weekend comes, visit a KPL game instead of watching international football on TV.

Midfielder @ Hooligan F.C.

Donald Maloba is a Kenyan football writer and former football player. He eats, sleeps, and breathes football. He supports AFC Leopards.

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