CHANGE OF GUARD?

Kenya Premier League caucus wants Petra, Barry reinstated

Rachier presented the proposal on behalf of other members, in what observers believe was a well-calculated move to lock out Nick Mwendwa from football leadership

In Summary

•In a meeting with Namwamba at the Kenya National Library Service in Nairobi on Thursday, senior leaders of top-flight clubs recommended the reinstatement of FKF vice president Doris Petra, chief executive Barry Otieno, and the entire secretariat.

•The proposal comes as the country prepares to take drastic measures to resolve its dispute with the world football federation which saw Kenyan teams being kicked out of international championships.

 

Brian Eshihanda of Kakamega Homeboyz (L) contests for the ball with Fasamni Ojo of AFC Leopards in a past match
Brian Eshihanda of Kakamega Homeboyz (L) contests for the ball with Fasamni Ojo of AFC Leopards in a past match
Image: FILE

The Kenya Premier League caucus has asked Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba to reinstate a section of the expelled Football Kenya Federation officials as a way to jumpstart talks with Fifa.

In a meeting with Namwamba at the Kenya National Library Service in Nairobi on Thursday, senior leaders of top-flight clubs recommended the reinstatement of FKF vice president Doris Petra, chief executive Barry Otieno and the entire secretariat.

The proposal comes as the country prepares to take drastic measures to resolve its dispute with the world football federation which saw Kenyan teams being kicked out of international championships.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier presented the proposal on behalf of other members, in what observers believe was a well-calculated move to lock out Nick Mwendwa from football leadership.

"We request that the demands and conditions set by Fifa in their February 24 letter be considered until the vice president of the federation is reinstated and the FKF secretariat is opened," Rachier said.

"That the chief executive officer, Barry Otieno, be reinstated so that the football schedule can be arranged and the league can start immediately," Rachier added.

Fifa earlier in the year asked the government to eat humble pie and restore the embattled FKF administration led by Nick Mwendwa as a condition for lifting the suspension.

Weighing in on the matter on Thursday, Namwamba promised to include the proposal in his negotiations with the world football governing body.

"The clubs have come here to give their advice to the government and we have listened. We will put that advice together with opinions from other stakeholders in consideration when communicating with Fifa," Namwamba said.

He asked the clubs to be patient as he continues to work with Zurich to find an adequate solution.

"The immediate result is that we are in contact with Fifa and the next steps including the re-opening of the Secretariat is a decision between the government and Fifa because they should provide light.

Once they do that, things will go faster but what I promise is that football is coming back," Namwamba said.

"I have also been in frequent contact with Fifa. Indeed, I have spoken to them five times already and I will be on the phone immediately after this press conference.”

Namwamba said he is also eager to bring Kenyan teams back to the international stage.

“My conversation with them has been to find a compromise solution to the impasse that has hindered the return of Kenyan football to normal conditions," he revealed,” Namwamba said.

The development came amid news that Fifa had slapped FKF with an Sh27 million fine following a botched transfer window conducted by Kenyan clubs. Kenyan clubs entered the market to do business despite the absence of the Fifa Connect System which could not be accessed by the Transition Committee.

However, FKF Transition Committee secretariat member Robin Toskin dissociated his team from the saga, adding that they have addressed the issue in a report handed over to CS Namwamba.

“We have highlighted this sickening disregard of even Fifa Statutes in our FKF  Transition report. What clubs recounted to us on the transfer of players is blinding. I trust CS Namwamba will put his foot down, and insist on a Normalisation Committee,” Toskin said.