Overhaul at Football Kenya Federation risks ban from Fifa

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Kenya national side in October 2021Kenya have already been eliminated from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, with two group games remaining

Kenya is risking a ban from football's world governing body Fifa after its Sports Minister instructed a caretaker committee to run the country's football federation.

Sports Minister Amina Mohamed has created a 27-person caretaker committee to run Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

Fifa disapproves of governmental interference in the running of a member association and has banned countries from all forms of football as a result in the past.

"In order to preserve the sport of football, I have decided to appoint a[n] FKF caretaker committee for a period of six months," Mohamed said in a statement.external-link

"The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage shall facilitate the operations of the caretaker committee."

One of the stated aims of the committee is to "hand over FKF to newly-elected officials after a successful election".

Kenyan sports minister Dr Amina MohamedDr Amina Mohamed said the FKF had failed to account for monies allocated to it by the government

Mohamed's statement said that FKF has "over the past few years … faced several governance issues that have been of great concern to the Ministry".

"The FKF has failed to account for all the monies allocated to it by the government," she wrote.

A recent report commissioned by the Ministry recommended that Kenyan authorities should carry out further investigation to establish "the extent to which the misappropriation of funds in FKF may have occurred, with a view of prosecuting those who may be found culpable".

The authorities which were recommended are the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, National Intelligence Service and Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mohamed also requested the removal of the FKF's current officials in order for these investigations to be carried out, with a special audit of the books of accounts of FKF also being requested.

Fifa officials are currently in Nairobi conducting their own audit into the FKF, which has been led by president Nick Mwendwa since 2016.

The FKF, which has yet to comment, has announced a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Bad week for Kenyan football gets worse

Mohamed's announcement comes in a week when the FKF was fined just over $50,000 (6m KsH) for failing to enforce a transfer ban on local side Gor Mahia.

On Wednesday, FKF's head of competitions Frank Ogolla said his body needed further answers before paying the fine.

"Six million Kenyan shillings is a lot of money," Ogolla told BBC Sport Africa.

"We will write to Fifa to give us reasons for their decision and appeal the case. We hope they will be reasonable enough, [especially since] we acted on their communication."

Gor Mahia are currently serving a second transfer ban of 2021, having earlier been banned between February and September.

This latter date is key as Gor Mahia, believing that the ban was over, registered new players before Kenya's transfer window ended in November.

A letter sent by Fifa to the FKF on 9 September stated that Gor's transfer ban - which came after it failed to pay former staff - had been 'lifted'.

Gor Mahia fansKenya's record 19-time champions Gor Mahia have received two transfer bans in 2021

"Guided by the same, we proceeded to register the [new Gor Mahia] players between 10 and 22 September," Ogolla said.

"Then we received another communication stating that the ban was still in place as Gor had only cleared [its dues] with one player and not all that had lodged cases with Fifa."

When issued with its second transfer ban of the year in early October, Gor Mahia were advised by Fifa that the suspension would last until it paid all personnel their dues.

This week, Fifa stated that the ban would last another two transfer windows - regardless of whether the money has been paid or not.

This means that Gor Mahia, who have financially struggled in recent years, will not be able to buy any new players until 2023.

"We are writing to Fifa seeking to know the grounds the Disciplinary Committee relied on to render its decision," Gor Mahia official Lordvick Aduda told BBC Sport Africa.

"It is after receiving the grounds will we be in a position to comment further on our next course of action."

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