Stakeholders now speak out on FKF elections stand-off

 Stakeholders now speak out on FKF elections stand-off
DAVID KWALIMWA

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Elite referees have welcomed Fifa’s directive on the state of football in Kenya.

On Wednesday, Fifa dismissed last week’s ruling by the Sports Dispute Tribunal’s (SDT) which nullified Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections.

The world football governing body also rubbished a request made by SDT chairman John Ohaga to form a normalisation committee that will manage the affairs of Kenyan football in the interim, on the premise that FKF president Nick Mwendwa and his National Executive Committee’s (NEC) term of office has expired.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the current FKF Executive Committee members, including its president shall remain in office,” Fifa’s letter, which was signed off by Fifa’s Chief Member Associations Officer, Veron Monsengo-Omba reads in part.

And Fifa referee Mary Njoroge who officiated at the 2019 Fifa Women World Cup in France says any forthcoming decisions between the government, Fifa, and FKF should not hinder their career development.

“It was a great feeling working at the World Cup and a great experience as well. We must try and reach an understanding with Fifa because we stand to lose if it doesn’t work out,” she explained.

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Richard Obare, a former referee, said local officials risk missing out on a number of training and symposiums if Fifa cracks the whip on Kenya in the event of a stalemate.

“Fifa’s directive was a very positive one. We are pleased they are ready to meet various stakeholders but in the meantime, we have to do engage with an open mind,” said Obare.

Other whistleblowers who supported the statement are Anthony Ongwae, Davies Omweno, Israel Mpaima, Caroline Wanjala, Agneta Itubo, Gilbert Cheruiyot, Tonny Kidiya, Oliver Odhiambo and Samuel Kuria.

Besides Njoroge, Peter Kamaku was at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and had been earmarked for an appointment at the 2020 Africa Nations Championships (Chan). Fifa have also extended an invite for a meeting with Sports CS Amina Mohamed and SDT chairman John Ohaga ‘for the sake of peace.’

“In this context and for the sake of peace, Fifa is ready to meet as soon as possible with the FKF, the SDT representative (s), Minister of Sport and any other relevant stakeholders in order to find a way forward,” Fifa said on Wednesday.

In this respect, should the world health situation not evolve positively by 6 April 2020, we shall contact you to explore the other possibilities including meeting by video conference.”

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