Nick Mwendwa and team remain in charge, SDT ruling has no legal effect – FIFA

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Football Kenya Federation (FKF )President Nick Mwendwa and the current National Executive Committee (NEC) members will remain in office.

World Football governing body FIFA on Wednesday, March 25 quashed a ruling made by Kenya’s Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) that saw the cancellation of FKF’s repeat elections. FIFA has also turned down the Tribunal’s proposal to declare the current NEC’s tenure in office over.

In a letter seen sent to FKF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barry Otieno dated Wednesday, March 25, FIFA spoke widely on several issues surrounding the aforementioned above.

First, FIFA blamed FKF for subjecting itself to the SDT when it should not have, arguing the SDT is not recognised as the ultimate settlement medium at national level.

“FKF statutes do not expressly recognize the jurisdiction of the SDT as being the ultimate arbitration forum at national level. Moreover, we note that the SDT in not a national arbitration tribunal in the sense of FIFA circular 1010dated 20 December 2005. Despite the aforementioned, the FKF surprisingly subjected to the SDT by its own initiative while it was not obliged to so do as per its Statues,” part of the statement highlighted

“This, however, does not entail that the SDT decisions are binding on FIFA when it comes to its prerogatives and remit for which the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland has exclusive competence (cf. art. 57 and 58 of FIFA Statutes, 2019 edition). Therefore, we wish to emphasize that the relevant SDT ruling has no legal effect on FIFA,” they explained.

FIFA also noted that FKF’s Electoral Boards, its Statues and Electoral Code were agreed upon and approved in January, and no rightful party opposed the elections, with the SDT’s knowledge.  

“We must subsequently recall that the FKF Statutes and Electoral Code, as well as its Electoral Board, were approved and elected respectively by the FKF GA on 25 January 2020, and no FKF member having the right to oppose it did so. Consequently, the Electoral Code was duly adopted by a validly convened GA, as underlined by the SDT decision itself,” outlined FIFA.

The association pointed out the FKF electoral process had been marred by demands from Football Stakeholders in the country, with rising concerns from the government.

They revealed this was the reason they scheduled a meeting in Switzerland with the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture Amb. Amina Mohamed. The agenda was to discuss this burning issue, however, the CS cancelled the meeting after holding another with FKF and other parties in her office to try sort the situation.

“It is common knowledge that the successive SDT decisions on the FKF electoral process have generated demands from some Kenyan football stakeholders and concerns from the Kenyan government.

This is the reason why the Minister for Sport, Mrs Amina Mohamed, had agreed to a meeting at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland on 30-31 January to discuss this thorny situation.

This meeting was eventually cancelled at her own request, following a meeting at her office held with the FKF and other relevant state bodies to resolve this strained situation which sadly affects Kenyan football,” FIFA noted.