STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA ON THE DECISION BY FIFA TO SUSPEND KENYA FROM INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL ACTIVITIES
The decision by the Government of Kenya on November 11,2021, to disband FKF fully adhered to the Laws of Kenya; it followed a legally prescribed process and had a defined roadmap.
The decision was taken after it became crystal clear that the manner in which FKF was managing Kenya’s football growth and development was unsustainable and untenable. The lack of accountability for monies entrusted to it by the government and people of Kenya was raised with FKF on many occasions to no avail. We tried on many occasions to bring the matter which had festered for long to the attention of FIFA with no success as well. It seemed to us at times that FIFA and FKF were reading from the same book. Football in Kenya had deteriorated at all levels due to this mismanagement and had led to a public outcry. The Government has a responsibility to its citizenry to act in the public interest at all times.
The approach taken by FKF to become a law unto themselves and ignore its stakeholders, discourage our youth and make it clear that they had neither talent nor a future in football, firing and hiring of coaches in total disregard for signed contracts and the inherent conflict of interest that was always present, demanded action from somewhere and the Registrar took action anchored on our laws.
Apparently, FIFA does not relate to governments and stakeholders. It considers them a nuisance. FIFA however, still expects the same governments and stakeholders to fund football with no transparency and/or accountability in total disregard for national laws, institutions, values and practices.
The government tried unsuccessfully to communicate with FIFA even with respect to resources that FIFA and CAF quietly gives federations and which we suspected were not used as intended to no avail. It is now even suspected that in some cases there was double payment. We paid for activities and services that had already been paid for by CAF.
FIFA, in fact, in our case and many others, showed so much reluctance to engage with government, for good order, for universal principles of accountability and transparency that we were left with no choice than to allow it to manage football as we complied with our laws and demanded accountability for monies entrusted to the Federation for use on our youth. We hope that CAF will reconsider its decision on our Harambee Starlets who had fully prepared for the AWCON Qualifiers by listening to voices of those who have mismanaged football.
The Caretaker Committee that I legally established and that is fully recognized by our laws, has been hard at work. They have organized matches between our team and Uganda, Rwanda and Egypt and paid allowances on time, and leveled the playing field between male and female referees and players. It needs to be celebrated.
We expected FIFA to take notice of all the positive developments taking place, allow us to carry on with our legally prescribed mandate to put our own house in order and then work with us on normalization and fresh elections. We instead learnt through the media of a suspension based on government interference.
We will continue cleaning up, putting systems of accountability in place as well as a draft constitution that is fully aligned to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the FIFA statute and to good order and globally recognized values.
We intend at the same time to engage FIFA as we have continued doing over the last three and a half months. We intend to keep it informed as we have done until now on the going cases, investigations and the actions that we are taking. We hope FIFA will reciprocate and keep Kenyans informed on actions they intend to take with respect to issues we have raised on suspected misappropriation of their resources.
Issued in Nairobi this 26th February 2022.
Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, EGH, CAV