Update: FKF Caretaker Committee suspends football leagues

Drama after drama after drama...when will it end?

Boys enter with Kenya's national flag before the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between Kenya and Mali at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on October 10, 2021. (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

For a period of two weeks, all top tier football competitions have been suspended by the recently formed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Caretaker Committee to ensure regularization of the leagues' activities.

The 15 member committee led by former director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Aaron Ringera issued a press statement earlier today, Friday 12 announcing the suspension of;

  1. Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL),
  2. National Super League (NSL),
  3. Division One,
  4. Women's Premier League
  5. Women's Division One

“Following a meeting of the Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee this (Friday) morning, it has been unanimously decided to suspend the leagues for a period of two weeks starting today the 12th of November 2021.”

“This decision has been reached to ensure regularisation of the league activities across the country. The committee will be engaging with clubs and other football stakeholders in due course,” read part of the statement from the committee.

The statement further revealed that it will be engaging with clubs and other football stakeholders in due course. The committee went further to clarify, grassroot football will continue as usual.

“The leagues running under the branches and sub-branches should continue as normal. We wish to reassure all lovers of Kenyan football that the committee will ensure smooth operations of all football activities across the country and beyond,” said Ringera.

FIFA issues warning

Earlier today, FIFA threatened to impose a ban on Kenya if sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s decision to install a caretaker committee to run the Football Kenya Federation is maintained.

In a letter dated November 11, 2021, FIFA threatened to ban Kenya over what it termed as government interference with internal affairs of FKF.

“As a matter of fact, we deem fit to high that all FIFA member associations, including the FKF are statutorily required to manger their affairs independently and without undue influence of any thirds parties (cf. art 14 par 1lit. i) and art. 19 para. 1 of FIFA statues).

Any failure to these obligations may lead to sanctions provided for in the FIFA statutes, even if the third-party influence was not the fault the member association concerned.

"In esse, we consider that the aforementioned decision by the Cabinet Secretary to appoint a FKF caretaker Committer in lieu of the elected FKF executive committee is undoubtedly contrary to the above principles.

Should this be considered as undue government in the internal affairs of the FKF, it could lead to a ban imposed on the FKF by the competent FIFA body.

In such a case, all of Kenyan football would suffer the consequences and not just the individuals directly in the undue interference,” reads the statement from FIFA.

The football governing body went on to demand a three way meeting between them, FKF and the Ministry of Sports.

“Finally, and as referred to in the Cabinet Secretary’s letter of 18 October 2021, we would like to emphasize our willingness to hold a meeting with the FKF and the Ministry of Sports as soon as possible so as to address any concerns both sides may have and, all together to decide a way forward for Kenyan football," said

The statutes of FIFA are clear about non-government interference in football. Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

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