Harambee Stars in peril as court confirms FKF AGM freeze amid FIFA ban threat

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Harambee Stars in peril as court confirms FKF AGM freeze amid FIFA ban threat

Festus Chuma 17:28 - 04.04.2024

The AGM that was supposed to take place three weeks ago in Nairobi was poised to address various pressing matters, with the upcoming FKF elections taking center stage.

The Football Kenya Federation's (FKF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) has encountered a significant obstacle as the High Court has upheld its decision to suspend the meeting.

The intended AGM, pivotal for ratifying the controversial 2020 FKF Electoral Code and the Electoral Board, has been thrown into uncertainty, disrupting the electoral process and potentially delaying FKF elections planned for October.

Justice Olga Sewe, presiding over the case in Mombasa, granted the suspension after sports journalist Milton Nyakundi's application, challenging the legality of the FKF National Executive Committee (NEC) members' capacity to convene the AGM.

 "I am satisfied that the application is merited and is allowed," Justice Sewe stated as per Nation.

The heart of the dispute traces back to a decision by the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) last July, which found that FKF NEC members had been rightfully removed from their positions, questioning their authority to conduct federation business. 

Nyakundi argued that the SDT's decision remains unchallenged and thus in effect, rendering any attempt by these officials to convene an AGM as illegal and void. 

"It is illegal for individuals whose capacity to act as officials of FKF is the subject of court proceedings, including in this case, to purport to convene an AGM," Nyakundi stated.

FKF, through Senior Counsel Erick Mutua, responded by seeking leave to appeal the suspension of the AGM, a request that Justice Sewe granted, allowing FKF to challenge the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

Despite this, the temporary suspension ordered before Thursday’s ruling already had postponed the AGM initially set for March 16.

The backdrop to this legal tussle is FIFA's stern warning to Kenya, threatening suspension from all football activities over government interference, a standard FIFA imposes to protect its member associations from external influence. 

This warning came in light of the High Court's intervention, exacerbating the turmoil within Kenyan football governance and jeopardizing the country's standing in the international football community.

The legal impasse and FIFA's warning highlight a critical conflict between national legal proceedings and international football governance rules.

FIFA's potential suspension would not only affect Kenya's international engagements but also its development programs, funding, and FIFA member benefits, casting a long shadow over the future of Kenyan football.

As the case is set for mention on April 24, stakeholders within Kenyan football are left in limbo, with the critical AGM process needing to start anew depending on the legal outcome. 

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