Nairobi News

Sports

Mwendwa: Fifa ban is not the end of the world

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa argues that Fifa’s looming ban on Kenya from competing in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers ‘is not the end of the world’.

Just as it happened with Zimbabwe in 2015, football’s world governing is expected to expel Kenya from this international competition on Friday.

This is after the Zurich-based body and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne found FKF guilty of dismissing former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche without following due procedure and also severally defaulting in paying off his Sh109 million compensation package.

“We were told to pay the money by this Thursday (April 23rd) but we have been unable to. We have written to Fifa and it is unlikely they will listen to us,” explained Mwendwa.

“So I am telling Kenyans that it is highly likely we will not be competing in the Qatar World Cup qualifiers. This is unfortunate but it is not the end of the world because we have other competitions including the Africa Nations Cup qualification matches for both men and women, plus several youth competitions,” Mwendwa said.

And despite Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed categorically stating her ministry will not pay Amrouche, Mwendwa appeared to maintain that only the government is capable of bailing out Kenyan football at this time.

“It is our opinion that the federation paying one person Sh109 million will not be easy. We have explained that to Fifa so the only option is government but as you are aware, the coronavirus has halted several activities and there isn’t much happening now,” Mwendwa said.

Kenya has been pooled alongside neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and West African powerhouse Mali in the competition which is slated to commence later this year.