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Forestall ejection of Stars from World Cup qualifiers

By Editorial | March 23rd 2020

Harambee Stars’ Johana Omondi and Hakim Saga of Togo at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani during the second 2021 Africa Nations Cup Qualifiers Group G match in November 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

On February 28, world football governing body, Fifa, notified Football Kenya Federation it would open disciplinary proceedings against it for failing to pay an arbitral award of Sh109 million to former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche.

By failing to pay the coach, FKF was in breach of directions of a committee or an instance of Fifa or a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision.

The case will be submitted to Fifa disciplinary committee today, the outcome of which could include kicking Kenya out of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, something that will hold back the pursuit of dreams for a generation of youth.

A reading of how FKF got Kenya to this position paints a picture of an organisation at odds with the country’s aspirations. We can only pray that the disciplinary committee does not eject Kenya from the qualifiers as it did to Zimbabwe in 2015 during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

CAS’s decision was rendered on September 19 last year and one would have expected a responsible organisation to mitigate the error by negotiating a payment plan. Instead, FKF adopted a belligerent stance by not only failing to share information with the media, but also not engaging Amrouche.

FKF, sadly, has eroded whatever little goodwill the public had for them. And even now, the same federation is on the precipice of a full-blown crisis over the manner it handled its election process.

Fifa, again, has been roped in to forestall a potentially dangerous scenario unless a normalisation committee is put in place.

How it resolves the two problems is up to them, but everything must be done to deflate a potential eviction of Harambee Stars from the World Cup qualifiers.

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