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Football

Mwendwa arrested as government tightens fight on FKF

FKF President Nick Mwendwa

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa was on Friday avening arrested by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) as the government tightened the fight on the football body.

Mwendwa was arrested by police at the Safari Park Hotel as he went to meet with national football team Harambee Stars who had just arrived from their World Cup qualifier against Kampala in Uganda.

“He was arrested and taken to the DCI headquarters where he was questioned,” a source who was at the hotel said.

Mwendwa had earlier on Thursday reiterated that he still remains in office after Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed formed a caretaker committee to run the Federation, following a report by the Sports Registrar’s office that recommended his removal from office.

Mwendwa is accused of gross misappropriation of funds at the Federation.

Meanwhile, the Caretaker Committee, led by retired Chief Justice Aaron Ringera held their first meeting with the Cabinet Secretary on Friday where they were handed the report and officially given the mantle to start their six month tenure.

The first step they took was to halt all national leagues; the FKF Premier League, National Super League, Division One League and the first and second tier of the Women’s Leagues for the next two weeks.

Caretaker Committee Chair Aaron Ringera and Kenya Polcie FC head coach John Bobby Ogolla

“We wish to assure all lovers of Kenyan football that the committee will ensure smooth operations of all football activities across the country and beyond,” a statement from Ringera read.

The National Super League was set to enter the second match day this weekend while the Women’s Premier League was scheduled to kick off.

The FKF Premier League is on a two-week international break.

The Ringera-led Committee saud they will use thw two weeks to lay all structures down in place and plan for a smoother running of affairs, and this might essentially mean they will take over running of the said leagues.

Amina has mandated them to put the Federation in order, in accordance to the Sports Act of 2013 before they organize fresh elections.

This comes even as world football governing body FIFA spoke for the first time. FIFA has threatened to ban Kenya if the Cabinet Secretary upholds her decision to remove the current FKF honchos from office.

CS Amina hands over the report to Caretaker Committee chair Aaron Ringera

However, the body has offered to arbitrate between the government and the Federation to find an amicable solution.

In a letter addressed to FKF Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno, FIFA’s Chief Member Association Officer Kenny Jean-Marie has asked the Federation to inform the Cabinet Secretary of the repercussions of forming a committee.

“All FIFA member associations, including the FKF, are statutorily required to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence of any third parties. Any failure to these obligations may lead to sanctions provided for in the FIFA Statutes, even if the third party influence was not the fault of the member association concerned,” the letter from Jean Marie reads in part.

It adds; “We consider that the aforementioned decision by the Cabinet Secretary to appoint a FKF Caretaker Committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee is undoubtedly contrary to the above principles.”

“Should this be considered as undue government interference in the internal affairs of the FKF, it could lead to a ban imposed on the FKF by the competent FIFA body.”

If FIFA makes good its threat, then Kenya stands to be banned from international football for a period of time deemed fit by the FIFA judicial bodies.

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