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Thumps up for Nick? Why Fifa could push deadline for FKF's repeat polls

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Thumps up for Nick? Why Fifa could push deadline for FKF's repeat polls by Kenyans247(m): Sat 21, March, 2020 08:57am
World football governing body Fifa is poised to extend the deadline for Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to hold repeat county and national elections until August, Nation Sport has established.

However, the extension of the deadline will depend on the situation with regard to coronavirus pandemic which has led to a government ban on public gatherings and use of sports facilities.

But Fifa, in a ruling on the state of Kenyan football which could be made public today, appears reluctant to commission a normalisation committee as requested by Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) chairman John Ohaga.

Instead, the Zurich-based body is likely to allow current FKF president Nick Mwendwa and his National Executive Committee (NEC) to remain in office as it adopts a hands-on approach in preparing yet another electoral code to be used for an all-inclusive fresh elections starting from FKF’s 47 branches.


Nation Sport has also learnt that Ohaga, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo have in the past few days engaged Fifa in an effort to resolve the current impasse following the cancellation of elections for the second time in three months on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Amina said she was satisfied with SDT’s ruling.

At some point, a prominent politician from Western Kenya who doubles up as a former international player, who is also a member of crucial parliamentary committee was roped in the talks as an expert.

"Refer to the (FKF) constitution. In Kenya's case, a normalisation committee amounts to government interference, considering the current president has not committed an offence punishable by law. He remains in charge until another president is elected to replace him," a spokesperson from Fifa told Nation Sport.

Fifa's Chief Association Officer Veron-Mosengo Omba last month stressed that FKF elections should be completed by March 30, but SDT called off the exercise on Tuesday, something that has caused speculation among local football stakeholders.

In arriving at the decision to cancel the elections, Ohaga ruled that FKF’s Electoral Code was not all-inclusive and had potentially locked out possible candidates.

"The purpose of competitive elections is to offer voters a choice between different philosophies, manifestos and visions so that they can decide who their leaders will be for the term as defined in the constitution. When such choice is taken away from the voters, then it cannot be said that the ascendancy into the office of the sole candidate who meets the criteria is legitimate," Ohaga said in his ruling.

"For this reason, the Tribunal has no hesitation in striking down the provisions of section 4 of the Code as being unreasonable and designed to lock out potential aspirants and is a gross violation of the principle of free and fair elections contemplated by Section 46 (6) of the Act as read with the paragraph of the Second Schedule."

Ohaga also nullified FKF elections last December, stating at the time the Electoral Board was not properly constituted and that the whole exercise had not been subjected to public participation. Ohaga also ruled that the term of the current FKF’s National Executive Committee is now at an end.

Efforts to get comments from Mwendwa yesterday proved futile as he did not pick or return our calls.

But FKF secretary general Barry Otieno stressed for the need not to pre-empt the ruling.

"The ruling should be out by tomorrow (Saturday). Let us wait for it, and also I hope everyone will respect it the way we all respected the SDT ruling," said Otieno.

FKF is said to have spent upwards of Sh20 million in the two elections have been spared further embarrassment when Ohaga ruled that the current electoral board chaired by Kentice Tikolo will remain in place.


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