OPINION: Why Kenya will not be banned by Fifa for failure to pay Amrouche

The clock is ticking towards the April 24 deadline set by Fifa for Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to pay former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche Sh.109 million.

The money was awarded to Amrouche by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and was supposed to have been paid two months ago.

However, Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee has given FKF a further 30 days to pay the money or risk harsh disciplinary action.

This is not the first time that an African country finds itself in this situation for Zimbabwe were here before in 2015 and the worst they got from Fifa was disqualification from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The team was still allowed to play in other African events and have since been reinstated back to the 2022 World Cup.

Zimbabwe had been sued by coach Jose Claudinei Georgini who was claiming Sh.18million from the federation.

When Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee first heard the matter, in April 2013, it gave Zimbabwe 60 days to settle half the debt and another 120 day period to pay the remainder.

The Zimbabwe federation was warned that if they did not meet the deadlines, the case would be resubmitted to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee for the imposition of harsher sanctions which could lead to expulsion from a FIFA competition.

Zimbabwe did not meet both deadlines and were given another final 60 days to settle the debt but once again failed to meet the new deadline and as a result, were expelled from taking part in the preliminary matches of the 2018 World Cup.

It is worthy to note that Fifa did not take any further action against Zimbabwe who has since been reinstated into the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and has not even been required to pay the debt that saw them miss out on the 2018 event.

Zimbabwe was not barred from taking part in the qualifiers of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations or any Confederation of African Football (CAF) events.

They also continued to receive Fifa grants. It therefore means that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is likely to suffer the same fate should they not be able to meet the April 24 deadline to pay Amrouche.

The worst that can happen is for Kenya to miss out on the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and considering that the country has never qualified for the tournament before, it may not be a such a big loss given the circumstances.

It also remains to be seen whether Amrouche will still receive his money if Kenya is banned for failure to pay him. Perhaps FKF should be ready to miss out on the World Cup qualifiers and concentrate all efforts on Harambee Stars qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

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