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What a FIFA Ban would mean for Kenyan Football

What a FIFA Ban would mean for Kenyan Football

Football is an industry driven by emotions. This industry is attracting interest from different arenas and brings not only popularity but also substantial revenues from fans, corporations, and advertisers and also critism.

Kenya is facing the possibility of being kicked out of FIFA after the State Department for Sports opened an inquiry into how Football Kenya Federation (FKF) spent Sh244.6 million.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, who welcomed the committee’s summoning of FKF President Nick Mwendwa, said that the DCI moved into the FKF premises after the World Football governing body- Federation of International Football Association (Fifa), gave a go ahead following a series of petitions from the government.

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa has challenged Mr Okudo, to provide correspondence from FIFA allowing the Government to conduct an audit of FKF.

As claimed by Mwendwa, there is no official communication from FIFA addressed to the country’s governing body. According to FIFA rules governing football federations in its member states across the globe, governments are not allowed to interfere with the management of federations, considered private football bodies in their respective countries.

Early in March this year, FIFA banned Chad after the country’s minister of youth and sports dissolved the FA (FTFA).
Confederation of African Football also disqualified the national team from last month’s final two rounds of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Chadian government authorities repealed their decision to establish a national committee for the temporary management of football which saw the FTFA reinstated by FIFA early this month.

The Chadian Government realized that a ban had negatively impacted on sporting activities which employ many people in the country.

What are the implications of a FIFA ban on the Football in Kenya? Many would welcome a hammer from Zurich with both hands. Some would call it a necessary sacrifice for the better of Kenyan Football.

Suspension of Kenya from international football by FIFA would have a lot of implications on the development of the game in the country.

No Kenyan team can compete in any international (CAF and FIFA organised) competitions

As a result of this decision, no team from Kenya of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes).

During the period of suspension, the FKF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches.

In addition, neither the FKF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programmes, courses or training during the suspension period.

A two year ban on Kenyan Football will breed more harm than good in the long run as many players in Kenya will not be allowed to move to other leagues. The Local league will grind to a halt and many footballers will lose wages and fail to sustain their families.

Equally government lose revenue through tax that Footballers remit to the authorities.

Football Clubs in Kenya will lose revenue from sponsors and merchandize, therefore running the risk of going bankrupt.

Kenyan Clubs will not participate in International competitions which come with huge prize monies and a huge platform for many local talents to showcase their talents.

A two year FIFA ban will mean Developmental National teams from U17, U20 and seniors for both men and women teams will be kicked out of all international tournaments, therefore destroying the foundation built over the last decade.

A ban will affect youngsters at the developmental stage the most and it will not spare journalists especially those covering football.

Calls for the dissolution of FKF may turn out to be catastrophic and could heap misery on many of our sports men and women who depend on football for survival.

An African football Journalist with a passion for the beautiful game. He is also a freelance Sports Photographer and Graphic designer.

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