•The sanction came hot on the heels of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed's decision to disband the Nick Mwendwa-led administration on November 12 last year and constitute a caretaker committee to run football in the country.
•In what appears like the boldest step yet taken by the government to resolve the mess, Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee has released a document entitled 'Key Changes To The Constitution And Rules Of FKF (2020)' meant to streamline the administration of football in the country.
Kenyan football stakeholders are keeping their shoulders to the wheel in a frantic effort aimed at salvaging the country's ship from a raging tempest that threatens to capsize it.
The country found itself at the deep end of murky waters after the world football governing body, Fifa, locked it out of international competitions.
It was a damning sanction that came hot on the heels of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed's decision to disband the Nick Mwendwa-led administration on November 12 last year and constitute a caretaker committee to run football in the country.
Fifa offered to lift Kenya's suspension if the country fulfilled the conditions set in a letter addressed to the chief executive officer of the expelled Football Kenya Federation, Barry Otieno.
CS Amina swung into action immediately, saying the government had set out to right the wrongs in the Kenyan football arena.
The CS said she would unleash the magic wand that cleansed Cricket Kenya in a determined bid to exorcise the ghosts that have haunted the country's football for some time now.
Amina reckons Kenya has internal mechanisms for resolving the crisis that has rocked the local football scene and brought most activities to a halt.
“We'll employ the model we used in addressing the mess in cricket to resolve the issues facing football. We want to adopt an internal approach and complete this process before engaging with Fifa,” Amina said.
“If you have been following, FKF like most local federations has serious accountability issues which have to be addressed first,” she added.
“We are keen on ensuring that FKF adheres to the Sports Act and the stipulated standards before we can think of sitting down with Fifa to discuss the possibility of lifting the suspension.”
Amina reiterated her earlier position about the need to ensure all local federations have complied with the law requiring them to account for funds apportioned by the government.
“Many federations in the country need to put their house in order first. Most lack governance structures and yet still apply for government funding,” Amina said.
In what appears like the boldest step yet taken by the government to resolve the mess, Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee has released a document entitled 'Key Changes To The Constitution And Rules Of FKF (2020)' meant to streamline the administration of football in the country.
The development follows a comprehensive nationwide consultative exercise where the committee held fruitful discussions with key stakeholders in the industry.
The Committee kicked off its first series of meetings in mid-April with representatives of Kenyan Premier League, National Super League, and Division One clubs.
Committee chairman Retired Justice Aaron Ringera has reiterated their desire to have a document that sits well with the Kenyan Constitution (2010) and the Sports Act (2013).
“We are engaging all stakeholders with a view of having an FKF Constitution which is compliant with the Constitution of Kenya and the Sports Act, 2013 and which encapsulates the values and principles of good governance, accountability and transparency and honours gender equity and equality,” Ringera said.
“The caretaker committee is sharing its thinking (in the form of a raw draft) with the stakeholders and getting their input,” he added.
Head of secretariat Linda Ogutu says the ultimate goal is to present a working document to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed once they are through with the reforms.
“We are inviting stakeholders to give views on proposed amendments and include their proposals to the document as part of public participation. We need a document that conforms to the Constitution of Kenya, Fifa Statutes, and the Sports Act,” Ogutu said.
“The Caretaker Committee must ensure the FKF Constitution complies with the Sports Act. The existing document is flawed."
Ogutu said they have facilitated the process to ensure members own the process by carrying out the amendments.
“They can suggest their own rules based on experience and administrative issues they've faced in the past,” she said.
The Caretaker Committee has also put in place other modes of stakeholders' engagement to cast its net wide, including establishing an official portal where stakeholders can propose amendments.
Among the Articles targeted for reforms is the distribution of power by the Constitution so that the country can have all the 47 counties involved in football administration under a national umbrella.
The highlight of the reforms is the proposal to amend Article 10 to include Kenya Primary Schools Sports Association, Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Associations, and Kenya Colleges & Universities Sports Association as members of FKF.
However, seasoned football administrator Lordvick Aduda insists that the Caretaker Committee lacks the legal mandate to tamper with the FKF constitution.
Aduda, who is eyeing the FKF presidency, pointed out that it is unlawful for the committee to lay the ground for the election of a fresh team to replace the expelled Nick Mwendwa-led administration.
“The Caretaker Committee neither has the right to interfere with the FKF constitution nor the mandate to call for elections,” Aduda said.
Aduda, says the decision by world football governing body Fifa to snub Kenya in the selection of World Cup referees underlines the mess the country has plunged itself into.
He made the remarks after Kenyans failed to make the final list of eight match officials from Africa selected by Fifa to officiate in the upcoming 2022 World Cup starting in November in Qatar.
Seven of the eight referees selected are among the 10 referees who officiated at the Africa Cup of Nations in March and there was hope that one of the Kenyan referees who took part in the show would be roped in.
“Kenya's suspension by Fifa has affected all stakeholders, including match officials who had been earmarked to officiate in World Cup matches,” Aduda said.
“It's quite unfortunate that Gilbert Cheruiyot and Maryanne Njoroge have missed out on a lifetime opportunity given they won't be available for selection,” Aduda said.
Aduda also drew attention to the threat by sponsors to abandon parastatal clubs. “Already there are sponsors who are threatening to withdraw their support. I've gathered information that Nzoia Sugar might soon be a casualty.
“That's because the sponsors are concerned that they are pumping funds into a league that is not recognized by Fifa,” Aduda said.
Aduda revealed that the spiral effect of the ongoing scenario is quite immense, adding that the recent ratification of Kenya's suspension by Fifa should be a cause for concern.
“The fact that we have 198 delegates in the conference ratifying the decision and only one opposed to it is a serious indication of the problem we are grappling with.”
Aduda said it was now upon Kenya to make the right decision.
“The suspension can be viewed as both definite and indefinite. Definite because it was ratified and indefinite because it can be lifted if we follow the right procedures,” Aduda said.
Aduda said a Special General Assembly meeting held by 44 delegates drawn from the FKF branches across the country on March 26 revoked the powers of the National Executive Committee of the expelled federation.
“The delegates invoked Article 24(4) of the FKF constitution which effectively means the federation doesn't exist anymore,” Aduda said.
“The Fifa statutes state that member associations should be left to resolve their issues without interference by a third party,” Aduda said.
He pointed out that there is no way the FKF Caretaker Committee appointed by Sports CS Amina would have been allowed to lay the ground for the election of new officials.
“The Caretaker Committee has got no mandate to conduct elections the same way it lacks the mandate to amend the constitution,” Aduda said.
According to the Principal Secretary of State Department for Sports, Joe Okudo, Kenya has gained immense traction in curing the ills that have bedeviled local football.
“I am very satisfied we are on the tail end of the exercise that will culminate into an election of new FKF officials,” Okudo said.
“We recently did the same exercise with cricket and we now have officials who are acceptable to the International Cricket Council,” Okudo said.
Last year, Okudo said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had been given a free hand by the world football governing body, Fifa, to scrutinize the activities of the expelled Football Kenya Federation.
“We have been engaging Fifa to allow us to move in and help have proper structures at the FKF. Now that Fifa has allowed us, we will ensure proper management of football in this country,” Okudo said.
Discussions about the election of new FKF officials have been rampant in the wake of a controversial decision by delegates drawn from FKF branches across the country, who unanimously agreed to elect an interim office after revoking the mandate of the National Executive Committee.
During a Special General Meeting held at Sportsview Hotel in Nairobi on March 26, the delegates said that NEC members are incapable of executing their mandate following Amina's decision to disband the embattled federation on November 12.
“What we want is to ensure things continue to run even as the government works on the way forward,” said Murang'a branch chairman Robert Macharia. The delegates pegged their action on Articles 24(o) and 37(k) of the FKF Constitution 2017.
Article 24 (0) stipulates that the FKF General Assembly reserves the authority to revoke the mandate of one or several members of a body of FKF.
Article 37 (k), provides that if more than 50 percent of the positions of NEC become vacant, the General Secretary shall convene an SGM within two months to elect the replacements for the remaining term of mandate.
FKF Nairobi East Branch chairman Amos Otieno reiterates the urgent need to save the country from the ongoing crisis.
Speaking moments after 198 council members of the world football governing body, Fifa, held a congress in Doha, Qatar to ratify a decision made earlier to suspend Kenya from international competitions, Otieno said the move was good for the country.
“Fifa's decision has made us realize the step we ought to take as a country to resolve the problem facing us,” Otieno said.
KCB Football Club chairman Azu Ogolla echoed Otieno's sentiments, saying the only way out was to adhere to the statutes of the Zurich-based body.
“Kenya must listen to the world football governing body, Fifa, and make decisions that fall within its doctrines, Ogolla said.
“Unfortunately, key stakeholders couldn't reach a common ground to resolve the stalemate,” Ogolla said, adding that the situation impacted negatively on the future of Kenyan football.
“The future is bleak. What happens to the local clubs, especially the ones that are struggling financially? How do we showcase our talent?
“We will now not be allowed play in international competitions despite the vast and quality talent that we have in the country,” Ogolla said.