Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Presidential aspirant Twaha Mbarak has supported Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba’s stance that all federations in the country must adhere to the Sports Act 2013.
Speaking during a meeting between the Sports Ministry and representatives from 113 sports federations in Nairobi on Monday, Namwamba issued a stern warning to sports federations in the country that are yet to align themselves with the Sports Act 2013, saying they will be dealt with accordingly.
“Why is it so difficult to follow the law?” Namwamba asked during the meeting, adding: “Just follow the sports act and accede to the law and respect the constitution of Kenya. We will never touch a federation that is following the law and engaging in good governance, but for those who don’t want to follow the law, we will come for you.”
Namwamba’s sentiments have caught the attention of Mbarak, who supported the CS’s directive by admitting it was worrying that several federations were yet to respond to the government’s call to comply with the same, adding that some of them will risk facing legal action in the future if they don’t follow the law.
“My full support goes to Sports CS Ababu (Namwamba) in his call for local sports governing bodies to adhere to the Sports Act or risk facing legal action,” said Mbarak, adding: “It is perturbing to see that several federations have not responded to the government’s incessant appeal for adherence to the established body of legislation.”
The former FKF vice-chairman under the Sam Nyamweya regime further pointed a finger at FKF for their reluctance to get compliance with the Sports Act adding that it could derail the federation’s elections set for later this year.
“Regrettably, FKF is one of the organisations culpable for not having complied with the Sports Act of 2013. This is a perilous scenario, particularly as we prepare for the upcoming elections, the date of which remains unknown,” he said, adding: “Such a glaring loophole might be exploited by the status quo to jeopardise the credibility of the upcoming polls and perpetuate their tenure in office, much to the chagrin of genuine Kenyan football fans who deserve better leadership.”
The Bandari official continued: “We have already seen a troubling tendency in which opponents of progress purposefully target delegates perceived to be in opposing camps to prevent them from voting. Federations have repeatedly violated the Sports Act to exert influence on the electoral process. This gives them an unfair advantage over their rivals on election day.”
He further warned that the status quo could remain whenever federations go to polls unless authorities take a bold step to tame the vice. “Unless authorities take a bold step to tame the vice, genuine sports fans will still be subjected to the usual theatrics that have persistently plagued the local football landscape,” added Mbarak.
“The best way to address this anomaly is to make all federations abide by the Sports Act to close any gaps that might be intended to compromise the real outcome of the election. Strict adherence to the spirit of the constitution is equally important for FKF and FIFA, the world football governing body.”
Already FKF have kick-started the process of holding elections with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) pencilled for March 16 to come up with the date for the exercise.
Apart from Mbarak, others, who have shown keen interest in vying for the presidency include former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya, Extreme Sports CEO Hussein Mohammed, ex-Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda, Gor Mahia secretary Sam Ocholla, former Harambee Stars player Sammy ‘Kempes’ Owino, ex-CECAFA boss Nicholas Musonye, County Football Association (CFA) chairman Charles Njoroge, and Taufiq Balala.