It’s a divided house as delegates meet to discuss state of football

Delegates at FKF Annual General Meeting in Nairobi. February 6, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

After 46 of the 48 Football Kenya Federation Branch chairmen snubbed the FKF Caretaker Committee meeting a few weeks ago, a section of the officials and delegates are now expected to hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) at Sportsview Hotel Kasarani, Nairobi today to discuss the current status of Kenyan football and chart the way forward.

This comes barely a month after the world football governing body, Fifa, suspended Kenya from all international football activities indefinitely on February 24 citing government interference.

Kenya’s suspension is likely to be either ratified or lifted on March 31 during Fifa’s Congress meeting in Doha, Qatar depending on whether the conditions set by the Zurich-based body are met.

On March 9, FKF Caretaker Committee Chairperson Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera invited branch and sub-branch officials for a stakeholders meeting at Nyayo Stadium to brief them on the status of the game in the country, but only two branches (Kisii and Nairobi) turned up.

While a number of the branch chairmen who make up 51% of the FKF’s 94 voting delegates are set to grace today’s meeting that will also be attended by a section of FKF Premier League, National Super League, Kenya Women Premier League and Division One League clubs, some are unsure and others have confirmed their absence.

Top of the agenda of the meeting will be discussion on the implication of the directives of the Cabinet Secretary vide Gazette Notice number 12374 dated 11th November 2021 and the implications of the actions of the FKF president.

But even as FKF Nairobi East chairman Amos Otieno claims the SGM is legally convened as per the FKF Constitution and that some members of the disbanded federation are planning to challenge the proceedings and resolutions of the meeting in court, acting FKF president Doris Petra insists the meeting has not been sanctioned by her office.

“When Fifa met they only suspended the country from participating in international activities and not the FKF constitution and the General Assembly. We don’t need permission from the Caretaker Committee to hold the SGM and there is no court order stopping us from holding it,” Otieno, who is also an advocate of the High Court, told Standard Sports.

“We are meeting for the best interest of the game and for stakeholders to come up with a solution to the current impasse. The SGM is legally convened; the members have never withdrawn their legal notice that was addressed to the FKF SG, and copied to both Fifa and CAF. We are just pro-reform football stakeholders, nothing else.”

Chairman FKF Nairobi East branch Amos Otieno presenting a certificate to Coach Samantha Akinyi after CAF D coaching course in Baba Dogo last year. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He continued: “We need at least 45 delegates in total to pass the resolutions. The only challenge is that some officials of the disbanded federation have tried to intimidate and threaten the branch chairmen to scuttle our efforts of having a quorum. But the good thing is that 14 FKF PL clubs, NSL (8), KWPL (3), Division One League (4), branches (25) have already confirmed their attendance.

“This is a self-sponsored meeting. If some individuals are claiming that we forged the signatures, why have the purported members not recanted them. Members have their own independent views; we will go with what they agree during the meeting. If that will be for FKF NEC members and CEO to step aside, so be it.”

But Doris Petra has termed the SGM illegal saying it doesn’t meet the constitutional threshold.

“I have just seen the information about the purported SGM on the internet. We have not sanctioned it and we are not part of it. I don’t think it will have any legal impact because of the procedures followed. I even don’t know who is going to conduct it because as per FKF constitution it is the president who is supposed to chair such a meeting,” said Petra.

Even as the duo differs on the legality of the SGM, Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir has questioned the agenda of the conveners of the meeting.

“As far as I’m concerned, attending or not attending the SGM remains a personal decision especially when the agenda is broad and vague. We are not sure whether to attend it because we don’t know who called. It’s so vague that we don’t want to be part of a flawed process,” said Korir.

“The SGM in itself looks defective with the signatures from the branch chairmen suspicious. Some delegates are taking advantage of the current confusion to push a personal agenda that could be included in the agenda number 7 (The way forward). It is a coincidence that the meeting is coming barely a few days after an amended FKF constitution was sent to the clubs by the Caretaker Committee.”

Football Kenya Federation Deputy President Doris Petra during a past interview at Nyayo Stadium. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

While Nzoia Sugar chairman Evans Kadenge has confirmed his club’s attendance, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier and his Tusker counterpart Daniel Aduda are still unsure of gracing the meeting.

“I’m aware of the meeting and we will be represented by our Secretary-General Anthony Fungututi. This is the first stakeholders meeting since we were suspended by Fifa and it is good for the stakeholders to chart the way forward,” said Kadenge.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier said: “As a matter of fact, I have not been invited, but I have heard about it on different social media forums. I don’t even know the agenda; we are going to make the decision.”

On his part, Tusker chairman Daniel Aduda said: “I received the SGM invite but given the dynamics around the game I’m still waiting for the board of directors to advise us on whether to attend or not.”

Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula and Sofapaka’s Elly Kalekwa said they are not aware of the meeting.

“We have not received any official communication from the organisers. So, we will not attend it,” said Shimanyula.