Why the confusion in Kenyan football is not likely to end soon


Harambee Starlets Captain Nixon Dorcas and Jereko Mwanalima (left) have a word before a penalty kick during Olympic Qualifier match against Black Queens of Ghana at Kasarani on Tuesday October 8, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenyan football conundrum is likely to take a longer time to solve based on the agenda released by the world governing body Fifa ahead of today’s virtual Council meeting.

Top of the agenda of the meeting to be chaired by the Fifa president Gianni Infantino and graced by the executive committee members will be the ratification of various decisions by the Bureau of the Council.

They include the ratification of the decision of the Bureau of the Council of November 25, 2021 regarding the appointment of normalisation committees for the Guinean Football Association and Chadian Football Association as well as the extension of the mandate of the normalisation committees of the Ivorian Football Association and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association. It will also ratify the decision of the Bureau of the Council of December 31, 2021 regarding the situation of the Pakistan Football Federation.

The executive committee will also be updated on the various committee reports ranging from finance, development, referees to governance, audit and compliance as well as organising committee for Fifa competitions-related matters.

Though Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) appear to have been annoyed by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s decision to disband the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on November 11 over allegations of misappropriation of funds and immediately installed a Caretaker Committee to manage football matters in the country for a period of six months, the issue is unlikely to be discussed during today’s meeting.

As it stands, Fifa and CAF feel the government has interfered with the management of the game if their recent decision to lock out the national women’s team, Harambee Starlets, from the final round fixtures of the 2022 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers is anything to go by.

CAF then rubber-stamped Uganda’s Crested Cranes qualification to the upcoming continental finals in Morocco at the expense of Starlets thus throwing the Kenyan football into jeopardy. Kenya was to face Uganda on February 16 and February 22, but the two-legged fixture was cancelled last month after CAF Secretary General Veron Mosengo-Omba received a letter from former FKF CEO Barry Otieno claiming that, the Kenyan FA is unable to independently plan and successfully execute any international matches.

And while the majority of Kenyans will be patiently waiting for the resolutions of today’s Fifa Council meeting, former CECAFA Secretary General and CAF’s member of national association committee /media officer Nicholas Musonye urged them to lower their expectations.

“If the Fifa Council is discussing other countries’ issues it seems by the time they were coming up with the agenda, Kenya’s matter had not been factored in. All the others are old issues; they’ve been handling them for a while. Fifa are always clear on such matters, if it’s not on their agenda it cannot be brought up on the floor. It cannot be even in the AOB. In the case of Kenya, their issue can be handled by the national associations office at Fifa,” Musonye told Standard Sports.

Though former FKF president Sam Nyamweya and Secretary General Lordvick Aduda claim the only chance of Kenya’s case to be discussed is through the governance report, no drastic action will be taken.

“If the Kenyan case is not on the agenda, it can only be brought through other avenues, maybe as a governance report. But the council cannot make a concrete decision on the issue. They can come up with some recommendations through the report, but an action cannot be taken unless Kenya is given a notice. So, let’s not expect much from the meeting,” said Nyamweya.

Aduda said: “If what’s circulating is the agenda of the day, there is nothing substantive in terms of resolution with regards to the Kenyan case. But it could still come up as part of reports particularly in respect of the governance report. Since Kenya’s issue is a governance issue, it can come up for consideration, but as usual no drastic action will be taken. This could be a last warning.”

Asked if the time factor could be the reason for Kenya’s omission from the agenda, Aduda said: “It doesn’t matter, there are procedures to be followed. Any issue has to pass through different divisions at Fifa/Caf and there’s a progressive way of escalating them. It might be mentioned under the governance report before the Bureau gives direction.”

But the former FKF presidential candidate hit out at the hypocrisy of those calling for a Fifa ban saying Kenyan football needs a local solution.

“The most important thing at this critical moment is to find a local solution to our own issues. How can we be anxiously waiting for our fate to be decided by Fifa yet we have the solution within the FKF constitution. The Caretaker Committee were told expressively in the gazette notice that all they do must be done within the FKF constitution. I will continue raising the issues because the sufferers are the players and clubs; football is suffering,” said Aduda.

“If the Caretaker was to rectify the mistakes, why are they not involving the actual stakeholders? They are behaving like the bigger brother yet in football it’s all-inclusive. The football standards are going down; it is going to be difficult to resuscitate it. Caretaker’s term expires on May 11 that’s if their term is not extended and as per FKF Premier League fixtures the league ends on June 11, so, who will run it for the remaining one month? And who will engage CAF to recognise the champions?”

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