Kenya Facing International Football Ban Over FKF Row

  • Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa speaks after receiving a dummy cheque from Betika on April 23, 2020
    Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa speaks after receiving a dummy cheque from Betika on April 23, 2020
    File
  • Kenya is staring at a possible ban from international football competitions following the government's decision to disband Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

    The decision by Sports Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed, to send home the whole FKF team and the installation of a caretaker committee to help in cleaning up the federation has put the country at a crossroads. 

    In an official letter, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), stated that the move by the CS was in contravention of the body’s rules and regulations.

    “As a matter of fact, we deem fit to highlight that all FIFA member associations, including the FKF, are statutorily required to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence of any third parties,” read the letter in part.

    A file image of FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
    A file image of FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
    FILE

    “In essence, we consider that the aforementioned decision by the Cabinet Secretary to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee in undoubtedly contrary to the above principles.”

    As such, FIFA, through the letter written by Chief Member Associations Officer, Kenny Jean-Marrie, threatened that Kenya would suffer consequences of the CS’s actions if further investigations shows that she had undue influence on FKF.

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

    Kenny protested that the CS was misguided in taking the decision to send FKF officials home and that such a mandate can only be exercised by FIFA officials.

    According to the international body, (FIFA) can only take the action of removing association officials from office only under strong grounds to do so.

    “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 normalization committee,” he said.

    The global football governing body added that it was looking forward to holding a crisis meeting with the Ministry of Sports and FKF, in a bid to iron out contentious issues bedeviling the football fraternity.

    However, if the decision to appoint the caretaker committee was upheld, FIFA would have no choice but to take the appropriate action.

    On Thursday, November 11, CS Amina disbanded the Nick Mwendwa-led FKF and appointed a committee to spearhead the body’s activities for the next six months.

    The move prompted the embattled Mwendwa to write a letter to FIFA, protesting the move which he termed as witch hunt meant to send him and his staff home at all cost.

    Mwendwa has recently received backlash from football enthusiasts over the deteriorating state of Kenyan football since he took the FKF mantle in 2016, replacing Sam Nyamweya who suffered similar woes.

    Chad was banned from international football in April this year under similar circumstances like those surrounding FKF, where FIFA cited interference in the country’s association activities.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sports CS Amina Mohammed in a previous briefing.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sports CS Amina Mohammed in a previous briefing.
    PSCU