The football industry in Kenya has been gripped by controversy as over 100 football stakeholders have also petitioned the government to come out and aid the struggling Kenyan top-flight financially.
Disgruntled stakeholders have made Plans to register a rival new football federation if the current Football Kenya Federation (FKF) maintains its stand not to conform to the Sports Act.
This is after over 100 stakeholders from across the country met on Saturday in Nairobi and resolved to push for inclusivity in the forthcoming FKF elections failure. From here they will seek alternative options.
“We are concerned about the way in which Football Kenya Federation has conducted itself in the on-going football elections,” the stakeholders stated in a joint statement obtained by Goal.
The stakeholders argued because of the discriminatory eligibility criteria used ahead of the exercise, candidates and clubs have been systematically locked out of the elections without justifiable course.
“The exclusionary strategies adopted using the eligibility criteria in the FKF 2020 Electoral Code is the reason why virtually all candidates in the on-going elections are unopposed. Clubs have been systematically locked out of proposing and voting for candidates.
“Candidates with credible track records in football management have been locked out of the process using eligibility criteria that do not meet the test of constitutionality. These exclusionary tactics are intended to shield the incumbents from competition.
“The football fraternity is being driven into a position where it has no choice but to find an alternative platform that ensures inclusivity. The football fraternity is not without options. May those who have sinned against football take note that those available options will be deployed if the current situation is not dealt with to the satisfaction of all stakeholders,” the delegates attending the meeting resolved.
FKF has gone to the Sports Tribunal to have elections held in March without it necessarily conforming to the Sports Act. The stakeholders say this is a move to block clubs at the grassroots level to participate in the process.
The delegates representing Kenyan Premier League clubs, Super League clubs, referees’ association and representatives from the 47 counties countrywide said the sports act has huge benefits in sports development.
Among those in attendance were KPL’s Bob Munro, veteran referees official Wycliffe Ogutu, former FKF president Sam Nyamweya, FKF presidential candidates Twaha Mbarak, Andrea Mukowa, and Steve Mburu.
“Registration has many inherent benefits that would, among other things address some of the challenges facing the identification of eligible clubs in the current elections,” the statement continued.
“Of notable concern is the challenge of the compliance burden. Many of the requirements for registration appear to be beyond the reach of the intended sports organization at the grassroots.”
Efforts by Goal to reach out to current FKF officials proved futile as the phone calls went unanswered.
Meanwhile, the stakeholders have petitioned the government to come to the rescue of the cash-strapped Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
They want the government, through the Sports Fund to give Sh30 million to each of the KPL clubs.
“It is not lost on the delegates since the withdrawal of the title sponsor and the broadcast sponsor, the KPL is facing serious financial constraints that are threatening its hard-earned status as one of the most competitive, professionally-run and corruption-free leagues in Africa.
“The Sports Fund has built a massive financial war chest substantially funded from football-related activities such as taxation of betting firms.
“It is our considered belief if football is the primary source of funding for the Sports Arts and Social Development Fund, [then] the sports fund must reciprocate by funding football,” they stated.