Kennoway fighting for league survival

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SPORTING bosses in Kennoway are battling to save football in the community.

The village’s champion amateur football team has found itself in a bizarre registration mix-up which could threaten its ability to compete this season.

A bid to join the Kingdom Caledonian AFA has gone sour on the Cotlands Park squad, with the Scottish Amateur Football Association (SAFA) not recognising it as a registered team.

However, the club only heard of this after an executive committee meeting last week – with two matches of the new season already played, and won.

The club is seeking an appeal against the decision, at a cost of £1000.

But if it loses, it may have to spend the rest of this campaign idle, before making another bid to find a league for 2013-14.

Kennoway, who won the Fife AFA Premier Division title in May for the fifth successive year, decided this season to seek a fresh challenge after years of success and applied to join the Kingdom Caledonian AFA.

Manager Eck Davidson said it missed the February 28 deadline by three days – but the club was advised if it disbanded and then reformed under another name, it could be admitted as a new team.

Mr Davidson said the club was “a massive part of the community” and the decision to change was not taken lightly.

Some players and committee members stayed as the club restyled itself Kennoway 83 AFC (after its year of formation), while others left, believing the club should have preserved tradition and remained as it was.

Mr Davidson said the club believed its admission to the Kingdom Caledonian AFA was in order and there were letters and emails to show this was the case.

But now the SAFA has apparently ruled that, because Kennoway 83 AFC contains more than half the players and committee members from Kennoway AFC, it cannot be regarded as a ‘new’ team.

The SAFA has also indicated there are no grounds for appeal because its registration has not been validated.

Describing the move as “an extreme measure”, Mr Davidson said the club nevertheless hoped to lodge an appeal this week and would be seeking help from lawyers, local MP Lindsay Roy, and former First Minister Henry McLeish.

A Facebook campaign to reinstate the team has started, while its fixtures have been suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.

An SAFA spokesman told the Mail it was making no comment on the matter.