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Fifa rules Mwendwa, FKF Executive Committee to remain in office despite SDT ruling

17:23 EAT 25/03/2020
FKF president Nick Mwendwa CS Amina Mohamed and Uhuru Kenyatta.
Wednesday's development means the world football governing body has rejected the proposal of forming a normalisation committee to oversee elections

Besieged Football Kenya Federation (FKF) can breathe a sigh of relief after Fifa ruled on Wednesday they will remain in office, pending the conclusion of the protracted election process.

In a letter seen by Goal, Fifa has stated the current FKF Executive Committee members, including president Nick Mwendwa, will remain in office before the election situation is addressed by a meeting of all stakeholders, including Fifa themselves.

The Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) had, on March 17, cancelled the FKF elections and called for the creation of a normalisation committee which Fifa has now rejected.

In his ruling, SDT chairman John Ohaga had judged the current FKF Executive Members should leave office as their term had already expired, a move which has now been flatly rejected by the world governing body.

“First and foremost, we would like to highlight that the FKF statutes do not expressly recognize the jurisdiction of SDT as being the ultimate arbitration forum at the national level,” read the letter in possession of Goal. 

"Moreover, we note the SDT is not a national arbitration forum in the sense of Fifa circular 1010 dated December 2005.

"Despite the aforementioned, the FKF surprisingly subjected to the SDT by its own initiative while it was was not obliged to do as per its statutes.

"This, however, does not entail that the SDT decisions are binding on Fifa when it comes to its prerogatives and remit for which the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland has exclusive competence.

“Therefore, we wish to emphasise the relevant SDT ruling has no binding legal effect on Fifa.”

Fifa also ruled FKF adopted, legally, its electoral code of conduct which has been a contentious issue between the presidential aspirants and the incumbent. The Electoral Board, according to Fifa, was approved in a legal manner.

“We must subsequently recall that the FKF statutes and Electoral Code, as well as its Electoral Board, were approved and elected respectively by the FKF GA on January 25 and no FKF Member having the right to oppose it did so," the letter continued.

"Consequently, the Electoral Code was dully adopted by a validly convened GA as underlined by the SDT ruling itself."

Acknowledging the need to have common ground between the current FKF office, stakeholders and the government, Fifa states it shall arrange a meeting with all of them, possibly on April 6, should the coronavirus pandemic be contained.

This is was also the reason why the Minister of Sports, Mrs Amina Mohamed, had agreed to a meeting at the home of Fifa in Zurich on January 30-31 to discuss this thorny issue.

“Even more, it is common knowledge that the successive decisions on FKF electoral process have general demands from some Kenyan football stakeholders and concerns from the Kenyan government,” added the letter.

“This meeting was cancelled at her own request following a meeting her own office with the FKF and other relevant state bodies to resolve this strained situation which sadly affects Kenyan football.

“In this context and for the sake of peace, Fifa is ready to meet as soon as possible with the FKF, SDT representatives the Minister for Sports and any other relevant stakeholders to find a way forward.

"In this respect should the world health situation not evolve positively, by April 6, 2020, we shall contact you to explore all possibilities.

“Pending this meeting, and for the avoidance of doubt, the current FKF Executive Committee, members and including its president shall remain in office.”

The FKF National Elections were set for March 27 before the SDT put a halt to it.