The world soccer governing body, FIFA, is sending a special team to Kenya to lay the groundwork for the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) elections coming up in December. The FIFA officials, due 20 October, have been tasked with clearing the tracks to facilitate free and fair elections of the troubled national soccer office.
Leadership wrangles, accusations and counter-accusations have been dogging the federation for the last four years.
A group led by chair Mohammed Hatimy, and fully recognised by FIFA, is managing the affairs of the federation to the chagrin of a rival faction led by Sam Nyamweya, which claims the legitimate federation. The latter is recognised by the government.
The rest is history – the factions have taken each other to court, forcing FIFA to step in and threaten to ban Kenya, should the authorities kick out the FIFA-recognised administration. At one time, FIFA threatened to ban Kenya within 72 hours, after the High Court in Nairobi, ruled that the Hatimy administration was in office illegally.
It took the intervention of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a soccer lover, who per suaded the world football governors to give Kenya time to put its house in order. The global soccer governors held their horses, giving the east Africans time to clean the mess.
In the 2010 World Cup/African Cup of Nations qualifier, Kenya has been seeded in the same pot with Burkina Faso, Zambia, Gabon and Benin. FIFA has also named the seeded teams in the event – Nigeria, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon.
FIFA will conduct the draws in Zurich, Switzerland, 22 October. The 20 teams will be drawn into five groups of four teams each.
The winners of each group qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, while the top three teams in each group book their tickets to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola.