Government Concerns Delay FKF Elections: Implications Await Kenyan Football

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• Responding to inquiries from Labour and Social Welfare Committee

• Reasons leading to delayed FKF elections

• Kenyan government unwilling to sit and watch the Federation sink

• #UgSoortsNow

The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, has recently voiced the government’s apprehensions regarding the prolonged legal disputes that have hindered Football Kenya Federation (FKF) from conducting its much-awaited elections. Responding to inquiries from the Senate Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, Namwamba expressed deep concern over the delay, emphasizing its significant impact on FKF, the government, and the broader Kenyan populace.

Reasons leading to delayed FKF elections

“Government is disturbed that the unending court cases may jeopardise forthcoming FKF elections, given the current example of staying AGM and therefore, elections,” said Namwamba in a statement obtained by Africa Top Sports. “We wish to be proactive that in the event the cases fail to conclude in good time for FKF elections what becomes of the whole scenario?”

Namwamba added: “This is of great concern to FKF, the government, and Kenyans at large.”

Kenyan government unwilling to sit and watch the Federation sink

Namwamba, however, warned the government would not sit and watch the sport they had heavily invested in going down. “Government has invested heavily in the football space in Kenya, and cannot thus afford to just spectate as things go wrong,” added Namwamba.

Namwamba acknowledged the pressing deadline for the FKF elections and cautioned that the current officeholders, including President Nick Mwendwa, risk remaining in office unlawfully if the electoral process is not completed before October 2024. The failure to hold the Annual General Meeting (AGM) as scheduled on March 16 further exacerbated the situation, prompting FIFA – the global governing body of football – to caution Kenya against potential sanctions if outside parties continued to interfere with FKF’s operations.

“We have very tight deadlines, given that the current FKF’s term ends by October 2024. If the FKF AGM is not held by October and the Electoral code and independent body are not in place, the NEC would be legally out of office, leaving a vacuum in the leadership of the FKF,” explained Namwamba.

The unresolved legal challenges facing FKF not only impede the timely transition of leadership but also pose a significant threat to Kenya’s participation in upcoming football events. Namwamba highlighted the potential implications on key tournaments such as the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, AFCON 2025 qualifiers, Harambee Starlets and U17 Women qualifiers, as well as the hosting rights for the African Nations Championships (CHAN) and the 2027 AFCON bid through the Pamoja initiative.

“The government has invested millions of shillings in the construction of Talanta Sports City, rehabilitating Kasarani and Nyayo stadia. We don’t want to lose track again as was in 2018 and 2010,” offered Namwamba.

Namwamba concluded: “FKF have appealed to the court to allow them to hold the AGM, and to enable them to plan for elections. This appeal is, however, yet to be determined, the consequence of which is that the Elections panel and Electoral Code to jumpstart the election process are not in place.

“These two organs must be in place for at least six (6) months before elections. This, therefore, makes the October 2024 deadline for holding FKF elections non-feasible.”

The timeline for the FKF elections is critical not only for organizational continuity but also to safeguard Kenya’s standing in international football competitions. Sports journalist Milton Nyakundi’s legal actions, culminating in a court order halting the AGM on grounds of the federation’s legal authority to convene such a meeting, have further complicated the electoral process. The protracted legal battle ensuing from this move has left FKF in limbo, with the outcome pending and no resolution in sight.

As the legal impasse persists, the urgency to resolve the FKF elections gains greater significance, not only to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements but also to safeguard Kenya’s football interests on the global stage. The government, FKF, and all stakeholders must collaborate to expedite the electoral process and uphold the integrity and stability of Kenyan football.

In conclusion, the unresolved disputes surrounding the FKF elections represent a substantial challenge that demands prompt resolution to avert potential ramifications on Kenya’s football landscape. With time running out and key competitions on the horizon, concerted efforts are imperative to navigate the legal hurdles and facilitate the long-overdue electoral transition within FKF.

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