World soccer governing body, Fifa, riled by the removal of Kenyan soccer officials last Friday, has given the country a 72-hour ultimatum to rescind the move or face the consequences.
This comes three days after the High Court in Nairobi kicked out the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) executive led by Mohammed Hatimy for being in office illegally.
High Court Judge, Justice Hatari Waweru, ruling in a suit filed by the faction led by Sam Nyamweya demanding the removal of the Hatimy group, said Hatimy and his group were “strangers” who were in office illegally.
Stopping them from conducting business on behalf of the federation, the court ruled that the Hatimy group which enjoys the backing and recognition of Fifa, could not be entrusted with running the federation.
“Football is a serious sport in this country and it cannot be left in the hands of strangers,” he said technically giving the Government-recognized Nyamweya team the mandate to manage the sport.
But Fifa secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, in a letter to Hatimy, accused the Nyamweya group of “colluding with a former sports minister to orchestrate the crisis in the federation to maintain their control of Kenyan football”.
He accused the Kenyan court of violating Fifa statutes that bar governments from interfering in the affairs of national soccer federations.
“The decision by a structure, body or institution external to the football feder ation cannot be accepted,” he said in reference to the Fifa statutes which forbid the settling soccer disputes in conventional courts of law.
The world soccer governors say that the Fifa has its own machinery for settling such disputes. Alternatively the disputes can be referred to the sports court – Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS).
Consequently, Valcke gave the Kenya government 72 hours to rescind the court ruling or face unspecified consequences – most likely suspension.
“FIFA requests the KFF to immediately and officially contact the newly-formed go vernmental authorities to instruct the Registrar’s Office to correct within the next 72 hours, the registration of the KFF leadership in line with decisions taken by the football community,” he said.