Kenya’s H. Stars set to escape Fifa ban for 2022 World Cup qualifiers
Fears of Harambee Stars missing out on the 2022 World Cup Africa qualifiers seem to have been allayed after reports that Football Kenya Federation (FKF) reached an agreement with world governing body, Fifa, over the money owed to former coach Adel Amrouche.
It is believed that FKF managed to convince Fifa on how they planned to settle the coach’s dues amounting to about Sh114m.
A source from the federation who sought anonymity, said: “We have good news from Zurich as Kenya will not be sanctioned for failure to pay Amrouche.”
“I am told Fifa and FKF have struck a deal and thus no punishment will be meted on Kenya and they will take part in the qualifiers.”
Kenyans were waiting with bated breath on Tuesday, the deadline given to the federation to settle the tactician dues, as Fifa was set to reveal a final ruling in the case pitting FKF against Amrouche.
After FKF failed to settle the fine imposed following the wrongful dismissal of the Belgian-born coach in 2014, Fifa gave Kenya an extended period of 30 days to pay the tactician and after failing to do so, it attracted Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee’s intervention.
The case was re-submitted for evaluation by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee after FKF failed to honour the initial date that had been given. FKF had been given until April 23 to clear their debt but they were unable to do so.
The Court of Arbitration for Sports made their ruling, awarding Amrouche Kes108,194,863, in September 2019, and on December 2019, FKF was again ordered to pay the Botswana head coach a further Kes1,181,511, which brought the amount to Kes109,376,374.
On February 28, the Fifa Disciplinary Committee wrote to FKF and instructed them to pay the fines but on March 3, the federation wrote back to the Zurich body requesting more time to settle the same.
Fifa replied, on March 5, that they had granted FKF six days to pay but the federation did not honour the order within those days.
On March 24, Fifa again wrote to the Nick Mwendwa-led body that they were to pay Amrouche within 30 days or risk sanctions with expulsion from Fifa competitions being one of them. FKF was also fined a further Sh 3,243,241.
Kenya under coach Francis Kimanzi, are pooled in Group E and will take on Mali, Uganda and Rwanda in the second round of the qualifiers. Only the winner of the group will be guaranteed a place in the final phase of the qualifiers.