Sports CS Amina reacts to Kenya's suspension by FIFA

Sports and Culture CS Amina Mohammed and Muthaiga Golf Club Chairman Ronald Meru rides on Golf cart over Muthaiga Golf Club bridge on Thursday, 24 February 2022. [Samson Wire. Standard].

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Saturday responded to the decision of the World football governing body, FIFA, to suspend Kenya from international football due to government interference.

In a statement, two days after Fifa President Gianni Infantino announced Kenya and Zimbabwe had been suspended indefinitely, Amina called out FIFA's perspective of the government and football stakeholders, noting that the body considers them a nuisance.

The CS said the ministry was expecting the global body to notice the positive things that the FKF Caretaker Committee has done since assuming office in November.

“We expected FIFA to take notice of all the positive developments taking place, allow us to carry on with our legally prescribed mandate to put our own house in order and then work with us on normalization and fresh elections.”

“We instead learnt through the media of a suspension based on government interference,” said Amina.

Amina said the government tried unsuccessfully to communicate with FIFA even with respect to resources that FIFA and CAF quietly give federations to no avail.

“It is now even suspected that in some cases there was double payment. We paid for activities and services that had already been paid for by CAF.”

“FIFA, in fact, in our case and many others, showed so much reluctance to engage with government, for good order, for universal principles of accountability and transparency that we were left with no choice than to allow it to manage football as we complied with our laws and demanded accountability for monies entrusted to the Federation for use on our youth.”

“We hope that CAF will reconsider its decision on our Harambee Starlets who had fully prepared for the AWCON Qualifiers by listening to voices of those who have mismanaged football,” read the CS statement.

However, Amina said she will continue engaging Fifa with a view to finding a lasting solution.

"We will continue cleaning up, putting systems of accountability in place as well as a draft constitution that is fully aligned to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Fifa statutes and to good order and globally recognised values," Amina said.

"We intend at the same time to engage Fifa as we have continued doing over the last three and a half months. We intend to keep it informed as we have done until now on the going cases, investigations and the actions that we are taking. We hope Fifa will reciprocate and keep Kenyans informed on actions they intend to take with respect to issues we have raised on suspected misappropriation of their resources."

Fifa's decision to suspend Kenya came as a result of Amina's move to disband the Nick Mwendwa-led Football Kenya Federation on November 11 last year, but the cabinet secretary has defended her actions.

FKF president Mwendwa was then arrested on two separate occasions and charged with graft, before stepping aside.