Ringera-led team has its work cut out putting FKF house in order

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed (right) hands over the FKF Inspection Report to FKF Caretaker Committee chair Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera on Friday, November 12, 2021. [Courtesy, Standard]

The newly appointed Football Kenya Federation caretaker committee and Secretariat certainly have their work cut out as they begin the management of federation’s affairs and football activities in the country for a period of six months.

Even though the world football governing body Fifa has called for a joint meeting with FKF and the Ministry of Sports to address their concerns regarding the current situation in the country, the government has already gazetted the Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera-led Committee and its Secretariat.

And the Caretaker Committee hit the ground running yesterday by suspending national leagues for two weeks with immediate effect for leagues’ regularisation and shareholders’ consultative meetings.

But a few hours later after the announcement, embattled FKF president Nick Mwendwa was arrested by security officers while addressing Harambee Stars players at a Nairobi hotel.

While FKF Premier League, National Super League, FKF Division One, Women’s Premier League and Women’s Division One League have all been suspended, the leagues under the Branches and Sub-branches will continue as normal.

“We wish to reassure all lovers of Kenyan football that the committee will ensure smooth operations of all football activities across the country and beyond,” said Ringera.

The development came barely a day after Fifa responded to FKF’s email on the disbandment of the Nick Mwendwa-led office with Fifa Chief of Members Association Kenny Jean-Marie saying that they will not hesitate to sanction Kenya if CS Amina Mohamed’s decision to appoint the 15-member Caretaker Committee and 12-member Secretariat is upheld without engaging the Zurich-based body.

“In essence, we consider that the aforementioned decision by the Cabinet Secretary to appoint a Caretaker Committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee is undoubtedly contrary to the above principles. Should this be considered as undue government interference in the internal affairs of the FKF, it could lead to a ban imposed on the FKF by the competent Fifa body. In such a case, all of Kenyan football would suffer the consequences, and not just the individuals directly involved in the undue interference…,”said Jean-Marie in part of the letter addressed to the embattled FKF CEO Barry Otieno.

“Therefore, we kindly ask you to inform the Cabinet Secretary that in the event her decision to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee and correlated secretariat was to be upheld, we would have no other choice than submit the present matter to the Bureau of Fifa Council for consideration and decision.

“Finally, and as referred to in the Cabinet Secretary’s letter of 18 October 2021, we would like to emphasize on our willingness to hold a meeting with the FKF and the Ministry of Sport as soon as possible so as to address any concern both sides may have and, all together, to decide on a way forward for the sake of Kenyan football.”

Even as both Fifa and government try to look for a long term solution to the country’s problems, the Caretaker Committee have full in-tray in bringing football back to its desired state.

From preparing the national team Harambee Stars for Monday’s 2022 World Cup Qualifiers Group E match against Rwanda at Nyayo Stadium and Harambee Starlets for next year’s two-legged AWCON qualifier against Uganda to engaging all stakeholders on the way forward, ensuring that FKF operates within the provisions of the Sports Act. 2013, engaging sponsors like StarTimes and co-ordinating the new FKF elections, the Caretaker Committee has a lot of work to do.

But with the current situation, it is evident the sponsors will not get the value for their money.

It will be interesting to see how the Caretaker Committee engages sponsors/partners who still have running contracts with the federation.

Selected Members of the Caretaker Committee

Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera

He is a lawyer who served as a judge and as the former director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.

Richard Omwela

The renowned rugby administrator and lawyer started off as KRU Secretary before serving as the Chairman for two terms. It was during his term that Kenya 7s won the Singapore tournament under the late Benjamin Ayimba. He turned down an appointment to serve as High Court judge.

“We want to go there to clean up the house and ensure our boys and girls play football,” said Omwela.

Titus Kasuve

The former FKF Vice chairman has returned into football management albeit temporarily after a decade in the cold. Kasuve, who was accused of mismanaging the game, was among the surprise inclusion in the Committee.

“It’s high time we bring sanity back into the game and sort out these problems once and for all. Many people might not appreciate the job we did, but I know we did a good job.”

John Bobby Ogolla

He's one of the greatest central defenders in Kenya’s history. Having played for the national team, played and coached Gor Mahia as well as managed a number of clubs like Nairobi City Stars, Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka (assistant coach), the six-million-dollar man knows exactly where the footballer’s shoe pinches.

JJ Masiga

The dentist is a former multi-talented Kenyan footballer and rugby player. He succeeded both on the field and in studies. Masiga, who once captained Harambee Stars, made his name during his days at AFC Leopards.

Edward Rombo

The seasoned lawyer is regarded as one of the finest rugby player Kenya has ever produced. Rombo pursued a degree in law at the University of Leeds while playing for Leeds Rugby League Club. He is also an Internationally Accredited Rugby Coach. Former Kenya 7s coach.

Neddy Akoth

The Tartar Girls alumni played a key role in Kenya's qualification for the 2016 AWCON in Cameroon, but missed the tournament due to job commitments.

However, she was later frozen out of Harambee Starlets by the Nick Mwendwa regime for fighting for players' rights.

But after a few years in the cold, the Ulinzi Starlets captain announced her comeback to the team with a quadruple in Starlets 8-0 emphatic win over South Sudan last month.

“I take this opportunity to thank our CS Amina Mohamed for appointing me as one of caretakers.” Face book,” Akoth posted on her Facebook page.

Rashid Shedu

The legendary coach and former Kenyan international has seen it all in the Kenyan game. Shedu has coached various clubs both men and women including KCB and Bandari.

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