Veron letter trashing Sports Tribunal is offensive should be removed from table before talks

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Football Kenya Football (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa (L) and acting CEO Barry Otieno shake hands after a press briefing over John Avire’s purported transfer at the Goal project offices in Nairobi [sportpicha.com]

Football stakeholders have called on FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Officer, Veron Mosengo-Omba, to withdraw the letter trashing the Sports Disputes Tribunal ruling on the expiry of term of office the FKF.

Speaking yesterday ahead of the expected round-table talks Mosengo-Omba called for April 6, the stakeholders said the letter he authored should be taken off the table for any meaningful talks to take place.

“If indeed Veron meant what he wrote about the need for peace, trashing the decisions of the independent Sports Tribunal is not one way of fostering tranquillity in Kenyan football.

“We respect FIFA’s position that sports should not be taken to ordinary courts. In our case, an independents Sports Tribunal pronounced itself after carefully examining facts put forward by stakeholders,” Evans Rono an aspirant from Upper Rift region, said.

“The Kenyan government and the Sports Cabinet Secretary, in particular, have conducted themselves with great regard to FIFA’s principles of non-interference by third parties. “How then would FIFA trash decisions of an independent Tribunal and expect to sit down with the same institution and minister?” Rono said.

“Veron’s letter was written in bad faith and should be withdrawn henceforth,” he said.

The stakeholders alleged FIFA’s own officer, Mosengo-Omba, was bent on covering skeletons in FKF’s cupboard by insisting that he stays on beyond his term, which elapsed on February 10.

“As stakeholders, we have raised questions on FKF investments including the Outside Broadcasting project,” Simon Mugo the former FKF Nairobi branch chairman.

“We have strong reservations about the way the project was executed. Did FIFA or FKF undertake due diligence? The fact WTS Media Group went under with Sh125 million belonging to Kenyans collectively says otherwise.

“All we have wanted is to establish Veron’s role in the whole project because we strongly feel there is a connection with his insistence Mwendwa stays in office,’ said Mugo.

He added: “FIFA’s Code of Ethics forbids misappropriation and misuse of funds. The code also emphasizes members of the federation shall refrain from any activity or behaviour that might give rise to the appearance or suspicion of a breach of the statutes.”

Mosengo-Omba, the FIFA Member Associations boss, wrote to FKF CEO Barry Otieno on March 25 that: “Should the world health situation not evolve positively by April 6, we shall contact you to explore other possibilities including a meeting by video conference.”

Sports ministry officials said yesterday they were yet to receive any communication regarding the proposed meeting.