Kenyan Premier League
|Number of teams||16|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Kenyan National Super League|
|Domestic cup(s)||President's Cup
Top 8 Cup
|International cup(s)||CAF Champions League
CAF Confederation Cup
|Current champions||Gor Mahia
|Most championships||A.F.C. Leopards
(13 titles each)
|TV partners||SuperSport, KBC (live matches)
Kiss TV (highlights)
The Kenyan Premier League (known as the Tusker Premier League for sponsorship reasons) is the top tier in the Kenyan football league system. It was formed in 1963 under the Kenya Football Federation but is now controlled by the Football Kenya Federation. All member clubs are fully professional.
The league was mostly stable until the late 1990s and since then its performance has not been even average. Until today, many of the league clubs have little or no finances to support themselves. However, since SuperSport became an official league partner, the league has taken on a more serious role with teams becoming professional and the majority of the clubs managing to get shirt sponsorships. This has seen the level of competition improve compared to the past.
Following constant wrangles between the then football governing administration and the eventual deteriorating of the National Football League, participating clubs opted out and decided to form a company that would see the smooth running of the league in a professional and transparent manner. In 2003, the Kenyan Premier League was created and registered as a limited liability company whose ownership was shared amongst all the sixteen participating clubs and was to be affiliated to the Kenya Football Federation.
The league was known as the Kenya National Football League from its creation in 1963 to 1996, the Kenyan Super League in 1973 and 1997 and, from 1998, the Kenyan Premier League.
The Kenyan Premier League is operated and run as a private limited company incorporated in October 2003 under the Companies Act of Kenya. It is fully owned and managed by the 16 member clubs with each club being a shareholder. It is affiliated to Football Kenya Limited, which is also a shareholder and voting member of the KPL Board of directors. Non-voting members include the Kenya Football Coaches Association and the Kenya Football Referees Association.
The improved level of competition and eventual attention given to the league by the fans has seen major companies in Kenya lining up to partner with clubs. At the moment, the league does not have a title sponsorship but it has a broadcasting deal with SuperSport. Umbro is the official referee kit supplier and is also the official ball provider.
On 21 August 2012 the Kenyan Premier League signed a KSh. 170 million (US$2.02 million; £1.28 million; €1.62 million) deal with East African Breweries to rename the league to the Tusker Premier League, the most lucrative deal in Kenyan football history.
There are 16 clubs in the Kenyan Premier League. During the course of a season, from January to December, each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system): once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 30 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, the ordering is determined by their head-to-head records. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest placed teams are relegated into FKF Division One and the top two teams from each zone (Zone A and Zone B, the Eastern and Western zones respectively) of Division One are promoted in their place.
||Position in 2012
||Number of top division titles
||Last top division title
|Bandari||D1, Zone A1st in||0||n/a|
|Kakamega Homeboyz||D1, Zone B1st in||0||n/a|
|Nairobi City Stars||13th||0||n/a|
Head coaches in the league are involved in the regular running of their teams, including the training, team selection and player acquisition. Their influence and popularity varies from club-to-club and is related to the ownership of the club and the relationship of the manager with fans.
Total titles won
|A.F.C. Leopards||13||1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998|
|Gor Mahia||1968, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2013|
|Tusker||10||1972, 1977, 1978, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011, 2012|
|Ulinzi Stars||4||2003, 2004, 2005, 2010|
|Luo Union||2||1964, 1975|
|Nakuru AllStars||1963, 1969|
Top scorers in recent seasons
The league's all-time top scorer is Maurice Ochieng, who completed the 1976 season with 26 goals for Gor Mahia. His former teammate, Joe Kadenge, praised him as a lethal striker in front of goal.
|2008||Francis Ouma||Mathare United||15|
|2011||Hugo Nzangu||Sony Sugar||10|
- "KPL now Tusker PL in Sh170m deal". 98.4 Capital FM. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Puma deal for Premier League". SuperSport.com. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- Dennis Machio (24 October 2010). "Kenya's all time top scorer Maurice Sonyi honored". Retrieved 15 July 2012. (Portion of Joe Kadenge quote translated from Swahili)
- James Waindi. "Sonyi fears his son Ochieng' will down Gor Mahia". Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Kenyan Premier League - Official website
- Kenyan Premier League at Futaa.com
- Kenyan Premier League at FIFA
- Kenya - List of Champions, RSSSF.com