Amina’s terse warning to FKF-KPL over league tussle

Gilbert Kiprotich &  Mkalla Mwambodze

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has warned her ministry may be forced to step in if there is no cessation of hostilities between Football Kenya Federation and Kenyan Premier League who are locked in a bitter war of words over the top-tier league, KPL.

A bitter war of words erupted between the two entities two weeks ago when FKF, through its president Nick Mwendwa, on April 30 unilaterally ended the league in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, a move that did not go down well with the league management body.

This has already strained the relationship between the two bodies with temperatures reaching boiling point.

To further escalate the differences, KPL through its CEO Jack Oguda wrote to Confederations of African Football (CAF) on Thursday protesting the directive issued by FKF which declared Gor Mahia as KPL champions.

In an exclusive interview with Radio Citizen’s Michezo na Burudani show on Saturday, Amina told the show host Mkalla Mwambdze that the government won’t get involved in the dispute but urged parties to solve the standoff amicably failure to which the ministry will finally act on the issue.

“In matters pertaining leagues of our various federations we can’t interfere with running of their activities. That one is solely for the clubs and federations. We however advocate always for consultations among the parties. For now, they (FKF and KPL) have time to resolve the issue but if they can’t, we will be forced to take action,” said Amina.

Amina however refused to comment on the imminent ban staring at Kenya due to the controversy surrounding the Sh109 million payment to former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche as directed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“I do not want to comment on the matter which is currently in court. All I can say is that we wait for the ruling,” she said.

Similarly, when quizzed on the ministry’s take on FKF’S expenditure during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Amina disclosed that the audit report on the FKF expenditure will be completed soon.

“It (audit report) will be out soon and that is why I can’t say anything at the moment. When the report is out it will be made public,” she explained in the 1-hour  phone interview with Kenya’s leading radio station.

The CS further urged federations that have not aligned themselves with the Sports Act to do so although she hinted that some changes are set to be made to the Act.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having ravaged all sporting activities in the country, Amina revealed that the ministry is working with corporates and other well-wishers to cushion vulnerable sportspeople.

“We have already started the process of cushioning vulnerable athletes. In collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge we identified 58 athletes whom we’ve provided with some food stuffs and that’s just the beginning. We will be doing more in the coming days,” she said.

Amina also revealed that the Nyayo National Stadium is nearing its completion after years of renovation.

“It is only about 7-8 percent that remains before we officially open the stadium,” she concludes.