‘Let’s not attract Fifa ban’

Monday, November 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Harambee Starlets celebrate after beating South Sudan recently. INSET: Former Harambee Stars captain Musa otieno. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno yesterday called for a sober way of solving the stand-off between the Ministry of Sports and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) as the issue increasingly seems to be getting out of hand.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed ordered an audit of the federation’s finances almost a fortnight ago, with the exercise officially beginning on Saturday and she is expected to announce the next cause of action after completion this week.

FKF who claim to have accounted for the Sh244 million in question to the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Auditor General, read malice in the whole issue and even wrote to world football governing body Fifa about the development.

Fifa states that political interference is when a government tries to take direct control of a football association.

The most common case of political interference is when a government perceives that the executive committee of the national association is not performing well enough and decides to take action.

This is mostly when the national team is losing too many games and the government decides that changes must be made so they can put someone else in charge.

“Previously we have witnessed how the fight between the government and the football federation ended.

It is the players who stand to lose. People need to come, sit down and seek solutions instead of accusations and counter-accusations,” Otieno said.

He added: “FKF has done a tremendous job in my personal view and the federation president Nick Mwendwa cannot impress everyone.

If you look at the coaching clinics in the country, referees training and youth structures, not to mention how the national team players are treated, clearly you cannot compare this regime with the previous ones.

Previously we would sleep at hostels and connect flights while traveling for international matches.

Currently the players stay in five-star hotels while in camp and use chartered flights for matches.”

Otieno urged Amina to handle the situation with care so as not to attract a ban since the industry has employed millions of Kenyan youths.

“Fifa banning Kasarani and Nyayo stadium is a blow to Kenyan football especially after millions of shillings were sunk in the two facilities.

Vihiga Queens, Tusker, Gor Mahia are all taking part in continental competitions, so would they host their home matches in Tanzania and Uganda?” said Otieno.

He added: “The Minister of Sports should know that the moment Kenya is banned by Fifa all the football players in the country will be rendered jobless. So we need to seek solutions before we attract the ban.

Only people who don’t care are the ones saying that it is okay to be banned for two years as we put our house in order then we bounce back after the ban.

We will just be going round in circles and wasting players’ careers. A ban will mean that Vihiga Queens, Gor and Tusker don’t compete in the CAF competitions.

Harambee Starlets who are on the path of qualifying for their first ever World Cup would also not be allowed to play.”

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