The Government has put itself on a warpath with two international federations after the Ministry of Sports announced the disbandment of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Athletics Kenya (AK) yesterday.
A brief statement from the Ministry’s head office, signed by Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Arts, Dr Hassan Wario, said: “Due to incessant wrangling and failure to measure to the KPIs and also not accounting for grants from the Government and donations from sponsors, and also not complying with the Sports Act 2013, the Government has disbanded Football Kenya Federation and Athletics Kenya forthwith.”
“You are subsequently advised to vacate your offices forthwith and await further communication from this office,” concluded the statement, which was copied to world governing bodies, Fifa and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Attorney General, Solicitor General, Cecafa, CAF, AAC and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
We could not reach the Cabinet Secretary directly for a detailed explanation, especially with regard to an expected backlash from Fifa and IAAF, who don’t condone interference by governments in member federations’ affairs.
But a senior official in the ministry said the decision was long overdue, and was only awaiting conclusion of top-level Government consultations.
“We have been waiting for an opportune moment to crack the whip and this is the time. We are also watching three more federations closely.
If they can’t improve in the next couple of months, they will go the same direction,” said the official.
FKF President Sam Nyamweya was not available for comment. His AK counterpart, Isaiah Kiplagat, did not answer his phone when we tried to reach him.
Both Nyamweya and Kiplagat are in the EACC list released yesterday.
A Fifa Media Department official said they are awaiting official communication before reacting.
IAAF top officials could not be reached as they have been travelling from China where the World Cross Country Championships took place at the weekend. But Cecafa General Secretary, Nicholas Musonye, warned of possible sanctions from the Zurich-based body.
“With the problems afflicting Kenyan football, the Government should not have taken such a drastic step.
Fifa’s reaction to such an action is standard: Kenya will be suspended from all international football competitions until the decision is reversed and an elected office reinstated or put in place,” said Musonye.
FKF and AK have been in the public domain in the past year for all the wrong reasons. Sponsors have pulled out and the future does not look bright at all.
Only last week, Fifa brokered a deal under which FKF and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) were to run their independent leagues. Fifa also backed KPL’s 16-team league, from where the national champions will be named. FKF’s league will provide teams to be promoted to the KPL next year. AK has been facing an impending rebellion from its branches, with 14 of them having declared total war on the federation.
The Government has also not been happy with them, with the Cabinet Secretary having publicly admonished AK for not reining in agents who mislead athletes. Stakeholders were, however, excited about the move, with the Kenya Football Players Association lauding the Government for the “long overdue action”.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.