FKF boss Mwendwa in race for FIFA Council seat

FKF boss Mwendwa in race for FIFA Council seat

A month after his reelection, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa is now running for a seat in the all-powerful FIFA Council, the main decision-making arm of the world football governing body.

With the campaigns for the next year polls to choose the continent’s representatives on the Council gradually gathering momentum, Mwendwa has already submitted his nomination papers, pending clearance.

FIFA gives seven Council positions for Africa – two for English-speaking countries, two for French-speaking members, one automatic slot for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, one for an Arabic-speaking country and one general slot.

It is one of the Anglophone seats that Mwendwa is angling for, in the elections set for March 21, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco during the Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress.

“I’ll be going for one of the two slots for the English-speaking countries. It is a position that will project Kenya and East Africa onto the decision-making table in world football,” said the 41-year old.

He continued: “Kenya had a chance of rising to the summit of Africa football leadership through former president the late Joab Omino, who opted for a parliamentary seat instead of CAF presidency in 1988. He had a big opportunity that would have propelled Kenya’s football and the entire CECAFA region to greater heights, as he would have made it before former president Issa Hayatou.  We now have another chance to go for a big position over 30 years later,” he said.

Mwendwa will however have to convince his friend – Tanzania’s FA president Wallace Karia to back him up to avoid splitting CECAFA region votes, as the latter is also eyeing the slot.

Mwendwa, who will be banking more on the CECAFA and COSAFA zones votes to clinch the seat, will face a tough contest against Malawian Walter Nyamilandu, who beat South African football boss Danny Jordaan in the 2018 for a vacant seat on the current FIFA Council.

Andrew Kamanga of Zambia, Amaju Melvin Pinnick of Nigeria, and Lamin Kaba Bajo of Ghana, are also in the race for the Anglophone seats.

For a long time, Pinnick has been toying with the idea of running for CAF presidency since falling out with the banned incumbent Ahmad Ahmad, but has since retreated to the FIFA Council race.

This is the second time Mwendwa will be attempting to sit in the FIFA Council, having run for it two years ago only to withdraw at the homestretch.

If he sails through, he will be the first Kenyan to sit in the influential 37-member Council.

Candidates for FIFA positions in the CAF elections 2021:

French-speaking: Constant Omari Sélémani, Mathurin De Chacus, Gbèzondé KossiAkpovi, and Mamoutou Touré.

English-speaking: Lamin Kaba Bajo, Nicholas Kithuku Mwendwa, Walter Nyamilandu, Wallace Karia, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, and Andrew Kamanga.

Arab/Luso-Spanish-speaking: Fouzi Lekjaa, Hany Abo Rida, Gustavo Ndong Edu, and Khireddine Zetchi

Women position: Lydia Nsekera and Isha Johansen.

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