John Avire transfer saga: FKF to investigate Robert Muthomi over Sofapaka claims

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Goal Kenya.
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The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has vowed to investigate allegations made by Sofapaka involving the potential transfer of their striker John Avire.

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) club on Monday wrote to the FKF demanding they take disciplinary action against club secretary general Robert Muthomi, whom they accused of trying to sell Avire to an unnamed Egyptian side.

In a quick rejoinder, FKF President Nick Mwendwa has assured the club they will investigate the matter and punish those involved if found guilty.

“Sofapaka wrote to me with all these allegations against Robert [Muthomi]. We are investigating but in the meantime, we assure them the player is not going anywhere,"  Mwendwa told Goal in an interview from Egypt, where he is attending the Caf congress.

"We will not issue a transfer certificate to anyone."

In a complaint letter seen by Goal, Sofapaka boss Elly Kalekwa claimed Avire tried to terminate his contract with the club after being incited by Muthomi to do so.

“After Avire came back from Egypt, he wrote us a letter terminating his contract alleging we have not paid him for three months yet. We have evidence he has been holding meetings with Muthomi who convinced him to take such action,” claimed Kalekwa.

“We want FKF to take disciplinary action against Muthomi or we will write to world governing body Fifa over the same.”

Kalekwa particularly took issue with a document authored by the FKF official, in which he asks the Egyptian embassy to grant Avire and another person a visa to travel to Egypt.

In the document, Muthomi refers to Avire as a fan going to Egypt to watch the remaining matches of the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

In the document written on July 12, 2019, Muthomi writes: “The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals will take place from June 21 to July 19, 2019. In this regard, we request entry visas to be issued to Augustine Ramaita and John Avire fans travelling to watch the remaining matches from July 15.”

In his defense, Muthomi insisted he had not tried to sell the player but had only advised him to write a letter to Sofapaka protesting lack of payment.

“When we were in Egypt, Avire approached me and claimed he has not been paid for three months despite making every attempt to get the money. I told him to write to the club and copy the federation," Muthomi told Goal.

“He did that but Sofapaka went ahead and deposited the money they owed him in his account.

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“The Egyptian Embassy has been sending everyone needing a visa to us to get a letter and on which basis my assistant did the letter. Sofapaka should concentrate on paying their players instead of accusing me unfairly. I was not trying to sell the player or anything of the sort.”

According to FKF rules, a player is free to terminate his contract with a club if he has not been paid for two months.

Avire made his debut for the Harambee Stars during this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.

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