There is a state of unease among the key stakeholders of football in the country regarding the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections, and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs are wary this could end in a FIFA ban, which would greatly affect their operations.
On March 25, 2020, FIFA issued a directive towards the management of the game in Kenya, which in effect quashed an earlier ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT), in what jeopardizes the already shaky relations between the government and the football fraternity.
The concern from the KPL clubs emanates from that and according to Sofapaka chairman Elly Kalekwa, this is not the first time that the country finds itself in a similar situation.
Not the best thing
“For sure FIFA will ban Kenya if we do not follow their directive. That will not be the best thing for us at this time because we will have nothing to play for. Some officials do not care whether we are banned or not as they are only concerned about their own interests,” he said.
Kalekwa particularly expressed concern about the inability to do player transfers in case of a ban, which he observes, will greatly impact clubs’ revenues.
AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda also expressed fears that a ban on the country will water down the gains the country has achieved even as he called on FIFA not to take sides on the matter.
“We are in a very difficult situation as it is but there is a ray of hope especially after President Uhuru Kenyatta came to watch the derby this month. That means that things will begin to change.
FIFA is supreme
“If there is no agreement between the stakeholders, we will forestall such gains that we were beginning to have. We all agree that FIFA is supreme and my advice is that they should listen to both sides and come up with an amicable solution.”
“They ought not to take sides in the matter so that we can get the right solution,” he said.
Posta Rangers chairman John Tonui is also concerned that the standoff could lead to a ban on the country something he insists we are not ready for at this time.
“We will particularly be affected in the area of getting a sponsor for the league as we are making good progress at the moment. We are getting somewhere and we cannot afford for that to be thrown out of the window.
“My understanding is that what FIFA said and the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) ruling are not far apart. There are really no major issues that we should allow ourselves to be banned,” he said.