FIFA makes bizarre intervention on court orders that stopped FKF AGM

FIFA makes bizarre intervention on court orders that stopped FKF AGM

Festus Chuma 13:30 - 27.03.2024

FIFA and FKF are headed towards a serious collision with the government of Kenya.

World football governing body FIFA has issued a directive to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), urging the immediate resumption of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) as a precursor to elections slated for later in the year. 

This move comes in the wake of a halted AGM initially scheduled for March 16th, following a court order from Mombasa, which put the federation's activities into a sudden standstill.

In a communication that underscores the global body’s stance on the non-involvement of regular courts in football governance, FIFA expressed deep concerns over the legal intervention that postponed the crucial FKF meeting.

 A letter from FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Officer, Kenny Jean-Marie, outlined FIFA’s position and the implications of the legal encroachment on football's administrative processes.

"We refer to your letter received on 16 March 2024 and to the order of the Mombasa High Court, dated 15 March 2024, in relation to an interim stay of the Annual General Meeting of the FKF which was scheduled to take place on 16 March 2024. We have received with great concern the information regarding the postponement of the FKF Annual General Meeting due to the abovementioned court order issued less than 24 hours before the starting time of the said meeting," Jean-Marie highlighted, indicating the disruption caused by the court's last-minute intervention.

This letter further emphasized FIFA's foundational principle of prohibiting recourse to ordinary courts of law for disputes within member associations, referencing specific statutes to support this stance. 

"This order was issued despite the preparations of the General Meeting by the FKF, and the arrival of the delegates representing the Members of FKF who travelled from across the country in order to attend this important meeting. A FIFA delegation was also in Nairobi in order to attend this meeting as observers," the letter continued, showcasing the extensive preparations undercut by the court order.

"In this respect and first of all, we draw your attention to art. 69 of the FKF Statutes which expressly stipulates that 'Disputes within the [FKF] or affecting leagues, members of leagues, clubs, members of clubs, players, officials and other [FKF] officials shall not be submitted to ordinary courts unless the FIFA regulations, [the FKF statutes] or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts,'" FIFA’s letter asserted, clarifying the regulatory framework that guards against external legal influences.

The global football authority did not mince words in warning of potential sanctions, including a suspension that could isolate the FKF from international football activities.

 "The infringement of the aforementioned provisions of the FIFA and CAF Statutes may give rise to grounds for the suspension of FKF irrespective of whether the infringement was attributed to FKF or not," FIFA explained, underlining the severe repercussions of not adhering to FIFA's directives.

FIFA's letter concluded with a stern directive for FKF to proceed with its AGM and subsequent electoral process, highlighting the critical nature of these activities in maintaining the federation’s standing within the global football community.

 "In view of the foregoing, the FKF is directed to conduct its Annual General Meeting soon and to continue working towards conducting the FKF elections scheduled to be held this year," FIFA’s correspondence concluded, setting a clear path forward for the embattled federation.

This development places the FKF in a precarious position, navigating between adhering to FIFA’s directives and the legal landscape within Kenya. 

The FIFA letter sends a clear message about the governing body’s intolerance for legal interventions in football affairs and sets the stage for a potential standoff between international football regulations and national legal systems.

As the FKF works towards resuming its AGM and preparing for upcoming elections, the broader implications for football governance and the autonomy of sports organizations from legal oversight remain a pivotal discussion point.

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