Wazito FC will be making their maiden appearance in the KPL in 2018 and hope to emulate earlier promoted teams that have survived in the top flight
History backs Wazito and Vihiga to survive in top flight
By Imran Otieno | Thu 04 Jan, 2018 10:58
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In most leagues around the world promoted teams find it hard to adapt to life in the top tier and are always tipped relegation contenders even before the start of the season, the Kenyan Premier League is however unique in that aspect, as since 2014 no promoted club has been relegated at the end of the same season.

Also read: Vihiga United coach resigns

2014 season

Ushuru known as Kenya Revenue Authority at the time booked their slot in the 2014 KPL season after beating Posta Rangers 5-4 on penalties after a thrilling 2-2 draw in the promotion playoff at City Stadium. The promotion format then at the end of the second tier, then divided into two zones with the top two sides meeting in the playoffs. 

While Ushuru booked their place, Nakuru AllStars was the other team to get promoted after beating Oserian 1-0 in the second play off. 

However despite finishing last in the KPL, AllStars were reinstated in the league after court battles between FKF and KPL regarding league expansion and promotion format. Ushuru finished 12th in the season to hold on their status in the league for the 2015 season.

2015 season

With no teams promoted in the 2015 season, Nakuru AllStars and Nairobi City Stars who had finished bottom and second last respectively stayed in the league.

Also read: Vihiga United set to fortify impressive backline

2016 season

After another promotion saga, Posta Rangers and Kakamega Homeboyz earned places in the KPL after Zoo FC decided to abscond their final three matches. 

Posta Rangers had a spectacular season back in the KPL and finished fourth while Kakamega Homeboys also had an impressive season finishing eighth on the log.

In the season, Nairobi City Stars' great escapes over the past few seasons finally came to end and were followed by Ushuru to the NSL.

2017 season

In 2017 the KPL was expanded to accommodate 18 teams after a lengthy push and pull between the federation and KPL management. Four teams - Nzoia Sugar, Kariobangi Sharks, Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt - were promoted. 

Though they struggled at the start, all the four teams adapted to life in the league and survived, with Sharks' remarkable debut season seeing them emerge second runners up on the log as Nakumatt and Zoo FC survived the relegation fight. 

The season saw Muhoroni and Western Stima drop to the NSL with Thika surviving with the skin of their teeth after a 2-1 over Ushuru in the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Also read: Wazito signs AFC Leopards duo

NSL winners, Vihiga United and Wazito will be banking on that trend and their strength to stay up as they make their KPL debuts in 2018.

Imran Otieno
Twitter: @Imran_Otieno
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