Committee stops leagues as Fifa hints at sanctions

Saturday, November 13th, 2021 00:57 |
FKF Caretaker Committee Chairperson Aaron Ringera PHOTO/COURTESY

World football governing body Fifa has described the dissolution of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) by the Sports Ministry as against its statutes and which could invite frightful sanctions on the country.

In the meantime, Fifa has vouched for a meeting with the federation and the ministry officials to address any concern by either party and which could have led to the unprecedented decision. 

This came as the caretaker committee announced that it was halting all top leagues in the country for two weeks.

In a letter addressed to FKF Chief Executive Officer-cum Secretary General Barry Otieno and which was also copied to Confederation of African Football, Fifa Chief Member Associations Officer Kenny Jean Mariem said several clauses were flouted in the drastic action by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

Mariem clarified that should this be considered as undue government interference in the internal affairs of FKF, it could lead to a ban imposed on the FKF by Fifa. 

“We refer to the press statement delivered today by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Sports of Kenya, Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed, according to which it was explained that an inspection of the FKF was undertaken in the past few weeks by the Registrar of Sports under the Cabinet Secretary’s directive, pursuant to Kenyan sports law, following “an extended deterioration of the state of football management in Kenya”.

Mariem’s statement added:  “As a result, It is understood that a report was delivered to the Cabinet Secretary and was referring to a list of recommendations.  

Based on the aforementioned, we take note that the Cabinet Secretary decided today to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee composed of 15 members, and accompanied by a secretariat of 12 individuals, for a period of six months with several mandates.

He noted that no consultations were made with the world governing body before the purported deterrent measures by the CS were taken, besides the fact that the law of a federation independently ruining its affairs was blatantly defied. 

“As a matter of fact, we deem fit to highlight that all FIFA member associations, including the FKF, are statutorily required managing their affairs independently and without undue influence of any third parties (cf. art. 14 par. 1 lit. i) and art. 19 para. 1 of FIFA Statutes).

“Any failure to these obligations may lead to sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes, even if the third-party influence was not the fault of the member association concerned (cf. art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). Therefore, we kindly ask you to inform the Cabinet Secretary that in the event her decision to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee and 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,” read the statement.

The rejoinder by Fifa is bound to irk not only the ministry, but football stakeholders who have raised hue and cry over massive corruption at the embattled federation which necessitated the ministry dissolving the federation and replacing it with a 16-man caretaker committee tasked with overseeing the sport for the next six months.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa has come under fire for failure to account for all monies given by the government for the development of the game in the country, even as he insisted that he is still the federation’s boss.

The Sports Ministry has accused Mwendwa’s regime of not only failure to conform to the 2013 Sports Act but also derelict to account for the funds for the last two years, including the Shy 244 Milion given for Harambee Stars preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Following the disbandment of FKF, Amina appointed a caretaker committee headed by retired appellate judge Aaron Ringera whose team on Friday recommended the stopping of all leagues in the country.

-Charles Thuku and Barry Silah

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