Kenya Govt Puts Football In Danger as FIFA Threatens Ban

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Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Electoral Board chairman Prof. Edwin Wamukoya

The world football governing body, FIFA, has threatened to ban Kenya from all football-related activities. In a letter seen by Khusoko, FIFA is concerned with the government’s interference with football activities, specifically, ahead of the (Football Kenya Federation) FKF national elections.

Khusoko understands that FIFA was responding to an alleged third party interference in the affairs of the FKF.

“In particular, we note that a complaint has been recently filed by a local stakeholder against the FKF to the Sports Disputes Tribunal, seeking to annul the adoption of the electoral code and the nomination of the electoral board (first instance and appeal level) both of which were, according to the official minutes you provided, approved unanimously by the FKF delegates present during the annual general meeting (AGM) on 5 October 2019.

“In parallel, we also take note that an appeal has been lodged a few days ago by an individual against the FKF before the High Court in Nairobi, essentially with the same purpose,” says the statement.

FIFA thus considers this as interference and has called on the authorities to acquaint themselves with Article 69 of the FKF Statutes which states: “Disputes within the [FKF] or affecting leagues, members of leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials, and other [FKF] officials shall not be submitted to ordinary courts unless the FIFA regulations, [the FKF statutes] or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts.”

The aforementioned article is in line with one of FIFA’s core principles, that is, the prohibition of recourse to ordinary courts of law, unless specifically foreseen by FIFA regulations or binding legal provisions (cf. art. 59 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes).

“FIFA takes this principle with the utmost seriousness and therefore considers that it is the responsibility of the member associations, including the FKF, to ensure that it is implemented at their level through binding obligations on its members. We further wish to underline that a violation of this obligation by the FKF or its members may lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA Statutes, including a possible suspension,” it states.

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