Fallout from FIFA ban hangs in the air as clubs ready for return of Kenyan Premier League

As confusion and uncertainty continue to cloud the start of the 2022-2023 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League, clubs have been reinforcing their squads in anticipation of the new season.

The local football fraternity was thrown into confusion on Tuesday when troubled FKF President Nick Mwendwa led other officials to the Goal Project, Kandanda House in Kasarani and gained entry, over 10 months after they were kicked out by Sports CS Amina Mohamed.

The office has been locked since November 11 after Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed disbanded the Mwendwa-led federation over allegations of misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee to run football affairs for a period of six months. 

The caretaker was later transformed into a transition committee on June 17 with its term extended for another two months on August 15. 

What followed was the suspension of the country by world football governing body, Fifa, from all international football activities on March 31 citing government interference. 

Fifa said that they will only lift the suspension if the government revokes the appointment of the caretaker committee to run FK affairs and reopens the doors for the federation’s secretariat at Kasarani. 

During the period of suspension, both the relegation and promotion in the FKF Premier League will not be recognised by CAF/Fifa. 

“We expect Kenya’s suspension to be lifted in the next few days. Once it is lifted, Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets will be back in action in October. Our national teams and clubs have not played in international competitions for almost a year now because of few individuals who did what they did because they have power.”

“Our focus right now is to ensure the suspension is lifted. Once it is lifted, the rest will follow. But secondly, all leagues will officially kick off in a month’s time. We are meeting the Premier League clubs on Wednesday then NEC on Friday before writing a letter to Fifa,” said Mwendwa on Tuesday.

But according to Mohamed, the Kandanda House office was broken into by FKF officials, who were legally removed following an inspection of the office by the Sports Registrar. 

She said that her decision to disband the federation and appoint a caretaker committee has since been upheld by the ruling of the High Court of Kenya on May 10.

This begs the question; who is in charge and who will run the 2022-2023 FKF Premier League?

As Kenyans wait to see how thing will play out, already, a number of clubs have recruited new players in the transfer market with an eye on the title when the 2022/23 season begins.

However, as clubs continue to boost their squad, giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will be inactive in the transfer market as they are serving a Fifa ban for failing to pay accrued salary to their former players.

Instead, the two local giants have opted to reinforce their squads by promoting players from their respective youth teams to the senior squad.

Both Gor and AFC Leopards are banned from signing new players until January 2023.

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