‘No more govt’ interference – Ababu promises Fifa as he pours cold water on calls for fresh FKF polls

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 10:00 | By
'No more govt' interference - Ababu promises Fifa as he pours cold water on calls for fresh FKF polls
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba (C) shakes hands with FIFA Director of Member Associations Africa Gelson Fernandes (L) as Legal Counsel at CAF Nadim Magdy watches in Nairobi yesterday.. PD/ RODGERS NDEGWA

The government of Kenya is not interested in Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections despite numerous calls for fresh polls by a section of stakeholders in the country.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba yesterday categorically came out clear on the calls, stating that the government had no mandate to conduct or organize elections for federations.

The minister was speaking after holding a meeting with a delegation from the world football governing body FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF) at the ministry’s offices in Nairobi, where top on the agenda was the development of the local game after Kenya’s reinstatement by FIFA following a year-long suspension that had thrown the game into chaos.

Namwamba also used the opportunity to request CAF to allow Harambee Stars honour their two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cameroon and Namibia after Kenya failed to take part in the matches due to the Fifa sanctions that were lifted last month.

“The issue of elections is not really the mandate of the government. The government does not schedule elections for federations, it is not the business of the government to micro-manage federations or to run federations. We allow federations to run according to their constitutions and parent global federations’ statutes. In this case FKF constitution and FIFA Statutes,” Namwamba said.

His statement dealt a blow to various football stakeholders who were optimistic about going to the polls to elect new local football administrators with the blessing of the FIFA delegation currently visiting the country.

The delegation led by FIFA’s Director Member Associations Africa Gelson Fernandes also met Football Kenya Federation’s officials.

Namwamba further noted that the state would never interfere with the running of Football in the country but spelt the minimum expectations of government from FKF, especially in regard to governance and accountability.

“We have proper policies to make sure that those who run football are running it effectively. What the government can do is give you an enabling environment. We have given the assurance that you are not going to see this government interfere in the affairs of the football federation in this country.

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