NAIROBI. — Kenya’s Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed yesterday said the decision on how the affairs of football in the east African country will be run will be known tomorrow after consultations with President Uhuru Kenyatta and football stakeholders.
Mohamed received the report of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Caretaker Committee, which has been in existence for the past six months, since the Nick Mwendwa-led FKF was disbanded.
The committee led by retired Judge Aaron Ringera and its secretariat has been running the topflight league, National Super League, Women Premier League, FKF Division One and Division Two leagues.
It exits with five matches remaining to the end of the season in both the top men’s and women’s league with other leagues also expected to end next month.
“We shall provide a clear road map on Thursday on how we shall move on after meeting with the President and football stakeholders,” said Mohamed after receiving the report at Kasarani yesterday.
The CS, however, didn’t clarify whether a transition committee will be put in place before the FKF elections are held to get new officials.
Among the raft of changes proposed by the exiting committee is for the FKF constitution to be amended to conform with the Kenyan constitution and Sports Act.
Also the committee has proposed that FKF hands over running of the league to a limited company.
On the elections of FKF officials, the committee proposed that it be done according to the adopted FKF new constitution, Sports Act and the constitution of Kenya.
FKF branches are also expected to meet later this month to officially remove the FKF National Executive Committee Members and replace them with new ones before elections are held.
There were also reports from Nairobi yesterday that the Harambe Stars will not participate in the forthcoming 2023 African Cup of Nations preliminary rounds until they put their house in order.
Kenya and Zimbabwe were, in February this year, both banned from world football by FIFA because of governmental interference in the running of the game.
Kenya’s sports ministry disbanded the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over alleged misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee in November.
That same month, the Zimbabwe FA (ZIFA) board was also suspended by the country’s government-appointed Sports and Recreation Commission.
The reasons for the Sports Commission’s intervention include alleged sexual harassment of female referees by technical staff and allegations of fraud within ZIFA.
Zimbabwe’s Sports Commission was initially given a deadline of January 3 by FIFA to relinquish control of football back to ZIFA.
That demand was not met, but Zimbabwe’s senior men’s national team, the Warriors, were allowed to play at this year’s African Cup of Nations despite that failure by the Sports Commission, which appointed a nine-member “restructuring committee”.
In a statement soon after the ban in February, the Sports Commission reacted to the ban by questioning the failure of not just FIFA, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) too, to tackle serious allegations of wrongdoing within the previous ZIFA administration.
“It appears that FIFA is constrained by the provisions of its own statutes to protect certain of the undoubted sexual predators, fraudsters and corrupt administrators at the helm of football administration in Zimbabwe,” the Sports Commission said.
“All this in the name of shielding ZIFA from, to quote FIFA in its letter ‘ . . . undue interference from a third party’.
“It is a fact that some of these administrators are facing, inter alia, charges of sexual harassment, bribery fraud and general corruption before Zimbabwe’s courts.”
“Both FIFA and CAF are fully aware of an insidious culture of sexual harassment perpetrated against female football referees in Zimbabwe.
“For the 18 months lapsed since these allegations were brought to their respective attention, neither body has initiated any tangible investigation focussed on culprits whose names are known to them.”
The Sports Commission statement added that it expects its ongoing suspension of ZIFA to continue despite the FIFA ban, adding that “ZIFA will return to the “FIFA Family’ when it is in a condition fit to do so”.
Felton Kamambo has since been fired as ZIFA president together with former finance and competitions board members Philemon Machana and Brighton Malandule in an EGM which took place in Harare on April 23.
In the meantime, Kenyan football stakeholders are keeping their shoulders to the wheel in a frantic effort aimed at salvaging the country’s ship from a raging tempest that threatens to capsize it.
The east African country found itself at the deep end of murky waters after the world football governing body, FIFA, locked it out of international competitions.
It was a damning sanction that came hot on the heels of Sports Cabinet Secretary Mohamed’s decision to disband the Mwendwa-led administration on November 12 last year and constitute a caretaker committee to run football in the country.
FIFA offered to lift Kenya’s suspension if the country fulfilled the conditions set in a letter addressed to the chief executive officer of the expelled Football Kenya Federation, Barry Otieno.
Amina swung into action immediately, saying the government had set out to right the wrongs in the Kenyan football arena.
The CS said she would unleash the magic wand that cleansed Cricket Kenya in a determined bid to exorcise the ghosts that have haunted the country’s football for some time now.
Amina reckons Kenya has internal mechanisms for resolving the crisis that has rocked the local football scene and brought most activities to a halt.
“We’ll employ the model we used in addressing the mess in cricket to resolve the issues facing football. We want to adopt an internal approach and complete this process before engaging with FIFA,” Amina said.
“If you have been following, FKF like most local federations has serious accountability issues which have to be addressed first,” she added.
“We are keen on ensuring that FKF adheres to the Sports Act and the stipulated standards before we can think of sitting down with FIFA to discuss the possibility of lifting the suspension.”