FIFA Will Not Ban Kenya From World Cup Qualifiers, Says Mwendwa

FIFA Will Not Ban Kenya From World Cup Qualifiers, Says Mwendwa 1

Some people have been waiting to see Kenya banned from participating in the World Cup but that will not happen, FKF president Nick Mwendwa has said.

Speaking exclusively to NTV on Friday morning, Mwendwa assured Kenyans that the men’s national soccer team, Harambee Stars, would definitely participate in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.

“Let me tell you, Kenya will not be barred from participating in the qualifiers. I will not state how but let me assure you we will be in the 2022 Qatar qualifiers,” Mwendwa said.

Kenya has been staring at a possible FIFA ban after Football Kenya Federation failed to beat a deadline set by the world soccer governing body to clear a Sh109 million debt it owes former national team coach Adel Amrouche.

Mwendwa hinted at the possibility that the federation might already have arrived at an agreement with the coach on the way forward.

“We have a plan, a concrete one but whose details I cannot divulge now and I know such news to my opponents is very hurting. They want Kenya not to succeed just because it is Mwendwa who is at the helm.”

The Algerian was awarded Sh109 Million by Fifa for wrongful dismissal from Harambee Stars, but the federation will be forced to fig even deeper to offset a further amount that has accrued in interest after going for several years without settling the debt.

Mwendwa has meanwhile lashed out at Amrouche for turning into a puppet of his opponents, claiming he was being used to fight him politically.

“But the fact Amrouche has been siding with people and even called me to resign means he has become an opponent in the ongoing politics,” said the FKF boss.

The FKF boss said that all the cash disbursed by the Ministry of Sports to the national team towards their 2019 Afcon preparations was accounted for, with all documents being forwarded to the Auditor-General, DCI and even media houses for scrutiny, adding that no money was misused.

Mwendwa spent the better part of Thursday bei explaining to investigators at the DCI how the federation spent Sh244 million the government had set aside for the national team. He was accompanied by 14 FKF officials.

Mwendwa also assured the public that the federation was in the process of securing the Outside Broadcast (OB) van which has been the subject of heated debate after a broker entrusted with its acquisition failed to make delivery.

“The van will be delivered since it was already paid for, only that the contracted company is currently facing some issues on their part, but will still deliver it.”

He revealed that the federation was in the process of looking for a sponsor for the Kenyan Premier League, in the same way it had done for the second tier league as it has done with the National Super League (NSL) where online betting firm Betika pumped in a whooping Sh45 million in a sponsorship deal.

Mwendwa further said that the federation had begun building a second generation of footballers for the women’s national team for a smooth transition, adding that a girl’s FKF Center of Excellence project had been mooted.

The FKF president touched on recent threats by former coach Sebastien Migne’s to report Kenya over delayed payment of his dues.

“Migne reacted maybe after the payment delayed but his love for the country is unquestionable. As we speak, we have paid him KSh12 million and we were to pay him until March as compromise agreement..”

He said that it was the first time FKF and a coach entered into a negotiation instead of sacking them immediately.

“We are the first FKF leadership to approach a the dismissal of a coach in an appropriate manner. We struck a deal with Migne and we paid him. The only challenge maybe is the delay of payment he has had to contend with sometimes.”

“Migne’s contract was due to end on July 2021 and we agreed that the federation will take care of his family, pay his rent, offer him a car and a driver after he left,” Mwendwa said.

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