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Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualification

Nyamweya on Harambee Starlets saga: Otieno's actions are sabotage and criminal and government should act

12:34 am AEDT 30/1/22
Barry Otieno of FKF.
The ex-federation official is accused of acting without mandate and putting the qualifiers between Kenya and Uganda into disrepute

Former Football Kenya Federation president Sam Nyamweya has hit out at former FKF CEO Barry Otieno for authoring a letter that may cost the Harambee Starlets a chance to play Uganda's Crested Cranes in the 2022 Awcon qualifiers.

Otieno stated the ousted federation is not in a position to oversee the match, prompting Caf to give Uganda a free ticket. It is a move that took the FKF Caretaker Committee by surprise considering the fact that they were given the mandate to run football in Kenya for six months.

Further, Nyamweya has alleged that embattled former FKF head Nick Mwendwa might be the dark force that pushed Otieno to write the letter and action should be taken.

What has been said?

"The action by former FKF CEO Barry Otieno to write to Caf withdrawing the national women’s team the Harambee Starlets from the qualifiers is not just an act of sabotage to the entire nation but criminal by all means," Nyamweya told GOAL.

"Otieno served as the CEO of the federation and sat in the National Executive Council as the secretary. This in essence means he takes orders from the Nec and cannot act on himself. It, therefore, means that by writing that letter to Caf, he was acting on orders from higher authorities within the disbanded federation and that authority can only be Mr. Nick Mwendwa.

"Which is why I say the act is not only aimed at sabotaging the country but criminal because Mwendwa, as per High Court directive, has been barred from handling any football matters.

"I, therefore, urge the government to take stern action on Mwendwa and Otieno and any other Nec official culpable for the act of sabotage which has brought the game into disrepute and turned the country into a laughing stock."

What has the Ministry of Sports said?

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has come out to clarify that Kenya versus Uganda, the 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations qualifying fixture, will go ahead as planned.

"We have learned that there is a suspected fraudulent letter that was purportedly written to Caf to withdraw our heroines, Harambee Starlets, from the Africa Women Cup of Nations [Awcon] qualifier against Uganda, Amina said in a letter obtained by GOAL.

"It should be noted the team is already in camp preparing for the first leg in Kampala, Uganda, on February 17, 2022, and the return leg in Nairobi five days later.

"The Harambee Starlets have worked so hard to get to the last hurdle to the Awcon finals in Morocco later in the year and any attempt to interfere with that must be condemned and not be allowed to succeed."