Kenyan Premier League

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Kenyan Premier League
Tusker Premier League logo.svg
Country  Kenya
Confederation CAF
Founded 1963
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to National Super League
Domestic cup(s) President's Cup
Super Cup
Top 8 Cup
International cup(s) CAF Champions League
CAF Confederation Cup
Current champions Gor Mahia
Most championships Gor Mahia
(14 titles)
TV partners SuperSport, KBC (live matches)
Kiss TV (highlights)
Current season

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. Gor Mahia is the league's most successful club, having won the title a record 14 times.

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.

Corporate structure[edit]

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 current CEO is Jack Oguda and Frank Okoth is the current COO and LNO. Okoth is also in charge of logistics.


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.[1]

On 18 October 2012 the league signed a KSh. 10 million (US$117,275; £73,242; 90,052) deal with Puma, which made them the Official ball supplier for the league and its clubs with immediate effect.[2]


There are 16 clubs in the Kenyan Premier League. During the course of a season, usually from February to November, 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 to the National Super League, with its top two teams promoted in their place.


Logo used from January 2003 to September 2012.

The league's most popular teams are rivals A.F.C. Leopards and Gor Mahia, who have won the title 13 times respectively since it began in 1963.

Team Location Stadium Capacity
A.F.C. Leopards Nairobi Nyayo National Stadium 30,000
Bandari Mombasa Mombasa Municipal Stadium 10,000
Chemelil Sugar Chemelil Chemelil Sports Complex 5,000
Gor Mahia Nairobi Nairobi City Stadium 15,000
K.C.B. Nairobi Nairobi City Stadium 15,000
K.R.A. Nairobi Public Service Grounds Unknown
Mathare United Nairobi Kasarani Stadium 60,000
Muhoroni Youth Muhoroni Muhoroni Stadium 5,000
Nairobi City Stars Nairobi Hope Centre 5,000
Sofapaka Nairobi Nyayo National Stadium 30,000
Sony Sugar Awendo Green Stadium 5,000
Thika United Thika Thika Municipal Stadium 5,000
Top Fry AllStars Nakuru Afraha Stadium 8,200
Tusker Nairobi Kasarani Stadium 60,000
Ulinzi Stars Nakuru Afraha Stadium 8,200
Western Stima Kakamega Bukhungu Stadium 5,000

Head coaches[edit]

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.

Team Head coach
A.F.C. Leopards Croatia Zdravko Logarusić
Bandari Kenya Twahir Muhiddin
Chemelil Sugar Kenya Mike Muiruri
Gor Mahia Scotland Frank Nutall
Kenya Commercial Bank Kenya Rishadi Shedu
K.R.A. Kenya Ken Kenyatta
Mathare United Kenya Stanley Okumbi
Muhoroni Youth Kenya Francis Baraza
Sofapaka Uganda Sam Timbe
Sony Sugar Kenya Zedekiah Otieno
Thika United Kenya John Kamau
Tusker Kenya Francis Kimanzi
Ulinzi Stars Kenya Robert Matano
Western Stima Kenya Henry Omino

Previous winners[edit]

Source: RSSSF - Kenya - List of champions

Total titles won[edit]

Club Winners Winning years
Gor Mahia 14 1968, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2013, 2014
A.F.C. Leopards 13 1966, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998
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
Oserian 2001, 2002
Feisal 1 1965
Mathare United 2008
Sofapaka 2009
Sony Sugar 2006
Utalii 1997

Top scorers in recent seasons[edit]

"This man was a like a lion my friend, he had no mercy with goalkeepers. Most of them used to run away from goal when they see him because he would kill you with the shots. There was no joke. He was on fire. Leave the kids of nowadays alone; you score only 12 goals and you're top scorer? Our days were tough."

Joe Kadenge speaking in October 2010 on his days as a player with Maurice Ochieng.[3]

The league's all-time top scorer is Maurice Ochieng, who completed the 1976 season with 26 goals for Gor Mahia.[4] His former teammate, Joe Kadenge, praised him as a lethal striker in front of goal.[3]

Year Player Club Goals
2008 Kenya Francis Ouma Mathare United 15
2009 Kenya John Baraza Sofapaka 15
Nigeria Emeka Joseph Tusker
2010 Kenya John Baraza Sofapaka 15
2011 Kenya Hugo Nzangu Sony Sugar 10
2012 Kenya John Baraza Sofapaka 18
2013 Kenya Jacob Keli Kenya Commercial Bank 17

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "KPL now Tusker PL in Sh170m deal". 98.4 Capital FM. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Puma deal for Premier League". 18 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b 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)
  4. ^ James Waindi. "Sonyi fears his son Ochieng' will down Gor Mahia". Retrieved 15 July 2012. 

External links[edit]