January 24, 2022

Fifa ponders on banning Kenya for perceived government interference

By Clive Kyazze
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After the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amina Mohamed’s decision to disband the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Thursday, all eyes turned to Zurich Switzerland.

As anticipated the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has responded on the matter in a letter written to FKF’s General Secretary Barry Otieno.

The decision to disband FKF came after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kenya deployed an investigation team at the FKF’s office in Kasarani to probe the claims of misappropriation of the government’s funds amounting to Ksh244 million.

The money had been given to the federation to prepare Harambee Stars for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

“We consider that the aforementioned decision by the Cabinet Secretary to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee is undoubtedly contrary to the above principles,” read part of the letter.

“Should this be considered as undue government interference in the internal affairs of the FKF, it could lead to a ban imposed on the FKF by the competent FIFA body.”

The letter signed by Kenny Jean-Marie, the FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer also added: “In such a case, all of Kenyan football would suffer the consequences, and not just the individuals directly involved in the undue interference.”

“In actuality, it is up to FIFA alone, on the basis of serious and well-founded information as well as under exceptional circumstances, to order the dismissal of executive bodies of member associations followed by the appointment of a normalization committee (cf. art. 8 par. 2 of FIFA Statutes).”

The Cabinet Secretary appointed a 15-member committee has been put in place for six months and will be chaired by retired Justice Aaron Ringera.

Other members of the committee are General Retired Moses Oyugi, Fatma Adan, Philip Musyimi, Anthony Isayi, Elisha Kiplagat and Hassan Haji.

Others are Fredrick Tureisa, Mwangi Muthee, Neddy Atieno, Ali Amour, Titus Kasuve, Richard Omwela, Bobby Ogolla and JJ Masiga.

It is this move that FIFA disapproves: “We kindly ask you to inform the Cabinet Secretary that in the event her decision to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee and the correlated secretariat was to be upheld, we would have no other choice than to submit the present matter to the Bureau of FIFA Council for consideration and decision.”

FIFA is also willing to meet both FKF and the Kenyan government to forge a way forward in reference to Amina’s letter of 18 October 2021.

“We would like to emphasize our willingness to hold a meeting with the FKF and the Ministry of Sport as soon as possible so as to address any concern both sides may have and, altogether, to decide on a way forward for the sake of Kenyan football.”

In a press briefing on Thursday, FKF president Nick Mwendwa retaliated about their decision not to respect and honour the move by the government to disband them.

More Details to follow

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