Is Kenya staring at a Fifa ban?
As the World football governing body Fifa council meets on Thursday this week, their member associations Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Somalia will be top on their agenda.
Kenya tops the list after the Ministry of Sports disbanded Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in early November over allegations of misappropriation of funds and immediately replaced it with a Caretaker Committee to oversee the running of the sport for six months before calling for fresh elections.
Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura on November 15 wrote to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed urging her to re-think her decision to appoint the Caretaker Committee to replace the federation and said it would invite sanctions from the global body.
“Going forward, without prejudice to the allegations that have been raised and any potential trial for offences that may have been committed, Fifa and CAF are asking you to consider the reinstatement of the FKF executive committee as prior thereto,” the letter from Samoura read in part.
It added: “Fifa and CAF administrations are prepared to work closely with the FKF and your office representatives – as it has already been the case in the recent past – to normalise the situation.”
“I must highlight that the appointment of a so-called Caretaker Committee by your office is undoubtedly contrary to our principles according to which all of our member associations, including the FKF, are required to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence of any third parties (cf. art. 14 par. 1 lit. i) and art. 19 par. 1 of Fifa Statutes).”
“This situation could therefore potentially lead to a suspension of the FKF by Fifa and, in such a case, it would be all of Kenyan football that would suffer the consequences,” Samoura said.
After the national women’s football team Harambee Starlets failed to play their Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier last week and a walkover awarded to their opponents Uganda following a letter from FKF Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno that informed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that they could not honour the two-legged qualifiers because they had been kicked out of office, it is clear that the continental and global bodies still recognise the disbanded federation and that the Caretaker Committee did not have the mandate to run the sport.
In case Fifa suspends the country on Thursday, no team from Kenya of any sort (including clubs) would take part in international competitions, neither FKF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programme, course or training from Fifa or the Confederation of African Football (CAF), this includes youth programmes, referees and coaches training and annual grants not to mention players transfers to foreign leagues.
On Thursday, Somalia will also be discussed by the Bureau of the Fifa Council after the head of Somalia’s national football federation Abdiqani Said Arab was suspended from office over allegations of corruption, while Zimbabwe will be discussed after the country’s Sports and Recreation Commission suspended the board of the football association (ZIFA) in November and Namibia will be discussed because of infighting among members of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) executive committee and the disputed suspension of the association’s president, Ranga Haikali.