Tough times ahead for Kenya as local federation stumbles

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Football Kenya president Nick Mwendwa (in blue) and officials follow proceedings in a case where the Sports Dispute Tribunal is sitting to determine a conflict between Football Kenya Federation and Sports Registrar at Milimani Law courts on February 25, 2020. [Photo Courtesy]

The blundering FKF is now in the grip of world football governing body’s (Fifa) jaws, who are ready to open disciplinary proceedings for committing the cardinal sin of “failure to respect a decision passed by a body, a committee or an instance of Fifa or a CAS decision.”

This after the beleaguered FA failed to pay former Harambee Stars coach Sh 109million by yesterday’s deadline. The Court of Arbitration for Sport awarded the Belgian the staggering sum on September 19 last year for wrongful dismissal.

Back home, the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) in its ruling on December 3 last year also cited FKF for election malpractices and cancelled the exercise saying, “it is clear that the provision for 6 months required by Fifa as being the minimum period within which an electoral board should be appointed was neglected by the Respondent.”

And even as FKF extended a begging bowl to the Sports Ministry to pick up the Sh109m Amrouche bill, the local federation is yet to account for Sh125million it paid to a British company for an undelivered Outside Broadcast van moments before it went into administration.

Accused of manipulating the voters’ register and vehemently resisting complying with the Sports Act 2013, FKF under the leadership of Nick Mwendwa finds itself in a hole.

Cornered, the local football governing body went to SDT on February 19 seeking to have the provisions of Sports Act 2013 quashed to pave the way for the already late national elections.

SDT chair John Ohaga is expected to deliver the verdict on March 17.

In his ruling on December 3, 2019, Ohaga found FKF to have turned a blind eye on a crucial provision in Fifa’s Standard Electoral Code on setting up an Electoral Board

In its reasoned ruling to cancel FKF elections that had been planned for December 7 last year, SDT stated: “The Fifa Code is explicit on this provision as it actually proceeds to expound on the need to adhere to the six-month deadline at the footnote2 of the Statute stating that the period given is not inordinately long, but it enables the members of the association to know whether or not they will submit their candidature for an elective post.”

FKF has until March 30 to deliver the election for, which it went to the Sports Tribunal to try and salvage.

Yet even that attempt has come under serious contestation by a section of its members at the SDT.

The members accused FKF of exclusion using an Electoral Code that falls short of provisions contained in Fifa’s Standard Electoral Code. And despite the SDT ruling against FKF’s view on December 3 last year, the local FA insists the Fifa document is merely for informative purposes.