Hope as Sports CS Ababu Namwamba re-instates Football Kenya Federation

CS Sports Ababu Namwamba, Doris Petra (right) deputy FKF President and the suspended FKF President Nick Mwendwa (left) flanked by FKF National Executive Committee members after a meeting at Maktaba Kuu, Sports headquarters, November 4, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

There is hope for return to football normalcy in the country after new Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba on Friday re-instated the disbanded Football Kenya Federation.

Speaking during a presser on Friday evening, Namwamba said football is too important than individuals and must return- adding that embattled FKF president Nick Mwendwa will stay out of office until his pending court case is determined.

Namwamba, who took over two weeks ago re-instated the ousted FKF in line with Fifa's demands for the suspension to be lifted.

Fifa demanded the government do away with the caretaker committee and that control of the FKF offices be handed back to a federation now led by Mwendwa's vice-president, Doris Petra.

"We have come to an understanding which I will refer to in three parts. The government has made a commitment to meet conditions set by Fifa so that the suspension is lifted," said Namwamba who was accompanied by members of the FKF National Executive Committee led by President Nick Mwendwa

"We need our football back while not closing our eyes to integrity, rule of law and good governance. In my meeting with suspended NEC, I have been very candid with them on these issues."

FKF vice president Doris Petra will serve as FKF's president.

"Mwendwa has acknowledged that he has a court case that needs to be resolved. Then normalcy will resume in the meantime, the team in the words of FIFA, led by Doris and Barry Otieno will roll out."

FKF CEO Barry Otieno said that they will communicate to FIFA immediately for action to resume as early as possible.

"FKF will communicate to Fifa regarding the understanding between them and the government on conditions that we have set. They have been put down by FKF and will be conveyed to Fifa shortly," said Otieno.

Suspended FKF President Nick Mwendwa on his apart insisted that he was still the president adding that the decision to step aside from his role was reached after meeting with ministry officials.

"We have engaged with the CS and the government in the past few days and the first thing we wanted to do is comply with Fifa demands, get football back and get the boys playing. We reached the agreement today and yesterday that let's get this communication out so that Fifa can act because as you can see, right now we are together," said Mwendwa.

"I agree that I'm going to allow my team to continue unabated without my interference. Fifa is aware I'm not trying to interfere and stop them from doing this because we all want football to come back.

"I wouldn't say it's stepping aside, but an agreement that I acknowledge that I need to do away with this matter (court case) before I can fully be integrated. I'm glad to be part of this process and I acknowledge it."

Kenya's sports ministry disbanded the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) over alleged misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee in November.

In early November, former Sports Minister Amina Mohamed set up a caretaker committee to run Kenyan football after an investigation revealed financial irregularities at the FKF.

FKF officials were soon locked out of their offices as the committee took over the running of Kenyan football, and Mwendwa stepped aside at the end of the month.

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