Mwendwa in Cairo with eyes on FIFA Council seat

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa is already in Cairo, Egypt, hoping to grab a FIFA Council spot during the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly set for Sunday.

Mwendwa has been coy to discuss his campaign strategy but sources close to him revealed he has heavyweights supporting his bid.

The FKF boss, who took over the Kenya’s FA leadership in 2016  with a landslide win over competitors Ambrose Rachier (Gor Mahia Chairman) and former president Sam Nyamweya, will be counting on votes beyond East and Central Africa to clinch the seat.

Although Mwendwa has a brief history in football leadership at the national level, he is credited for founding Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Kariobangi Sharks from scratch.

Member associations will vote in the agenda number 13 of the Cairo assembly, seeking to replace Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi in one of the seven places set aside for African officials on the 37-strong FIFA body.

The CAF’s vice-president resigned after he was exposed by an undercover reporter allegedly taking a $65,000 cash gift. He is currently under suspension by FIFA.

If he wins, Mwendwa will seat in the all-powerful FIFA body as the English-speaking representative.

He however has to overcome stiff opposition from among others South Africa’s Danny Jordaan, who was cleared to vie despite recent corruption and sexual harassment allegations leveled against him.

Jordaan has sexual assault case dating back 25 years and a mystery $10 million payment that has reportedly been part of the US Department of Justice’s corruption investigations.

The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) has confirmed that Jordaan will be its preferred candidate at the Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on September 30. Jordaan rose to fame after presiding over Africa’s first World Cup as the head of South Africa’s organising committee but his reputation has diminished since then.

He was accused of involvement in a $10 million bribe South Africa allegedly paid to FIFA executives to get them to vote for the country’s hosting bid.

Despite being a member of the CAF executive committee, Jordan, regarded as one of the favorites in the race, pulled out of going for the FIFA Council last year amid speculation that he is being investigated by US authorities as part of the FifaGate scandal.

Others contesting include Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi, Elvis Chetty of Seychelles and Tanzania’s Leodegar Tenga, who was beaten to the role by Nyantakyi last year.

Uganda’s Eng. Moses Magogo was also in the race but withdrew just before the integrity test was conducted against him.