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Nyamweya questions Mwendwa’s presence in Fifa meeting: ‘Public relations gimmick'

17:50 SAST 2023/01/11
Nick Mwendwa FKF Fifa.
Former Football Kenya Federation president Sam Nyamweya has questioned the presence of Nick Mwendwa during a Fifa delegation meeting in Nairobi.
  • Mwendwa was in attendance at a Fifa meeting
  • Nyamweya hits out at Fifa for engaging with embattled football administrator
  • Questions Fifa’s commitment to fighting corruption

WHAT HAPPENED? Despite failing to attend the Fifa meeting with Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, embattled Mwendwa, who stepped aside to await clearance from the court, went ahead to chair a meeting between the Fifa delegation and FKF officials.

This has not gone down well with the veteran administrator Nyamweya, who thinks it was wrong for Mwendwa to attend the meeting which according to him, should have been chaired by Doris Petra.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "Kenyans had every hope that Fifa, through this delegation, was taking the Kenyan case seriously and was committed to sorting out the crisis," Nyamweya told GOAL.

"Not until Tuesday, when the Fifa delegation met with the Football Kenya Federation, that we have come to realise that the mission was basically a public relations gimmick that would not achieve any goal.

"It is a known fact that Mwendwa was asked by the government to step aside from running the federation affairs and Fifa itself when lifting the international suspension on Kenya, and Doris Petra was mandated to take over with Barry Otieno managing the secretariat.

"However, Kenyans were treated to a rude shock to see Mwendwa, who is in court over corruption charges and embezzlement of funds meant for football development, chairing a meeting between the FKF and the Fifa delegation."

AND WHAT IS MORE: Mwendwa was ousted from office when he was accused of financial misappropriation, and the court asked him to stay away from FKF until his case was concluded.

His presence at the meeting, Nyamweya says, leads to questions as to whether Fifa is ready to help fight corruption.

"We are left wondering, what is the position of Fifa on matters of corruption in football, and what was the reason behind Fifa sending a team to Kenya if the delegation could hold a sitting with the same person who has brought our football to its knees," he added.

"It is now very clear that Fifa has shown its disrespect to Kenyan law by sharing a table with FKF officials who have refused to abide by the law or comply with the sports act.

"We demand to know from Fifa how Nick Mwendwa ended up chairing the meeting with its delegation in Nairobi."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After Mwendwa was charged and the FKF national executive committee was disbanded, Fifa suspended Kenya for what it called third-party interference in soccer running.

However, the suspension was lifted, and Namwamba – after meeting with Fifa’s director of member associations in Africa, Gelson Fernandes, and the Confederation of African Football’s legal counsel Naddim Magdy - affirmed that the government will not interfere with the football administration.

WHAT NEXT? After the suspension, Kenya now awaits for Caf to reinstate them into the football community, as Fifa has already lifted the suspension.