Axed Kenya soccer chief claims back duties

Former Kenya soccer chief Nick Mwendwa, who was arrested in Nairobi last November, said Friday that he is back to running the sport. Mwendwa, who had stepped down after being charged in court with corruption and embezzlement of public funds, further promised to ensure the lift of the suspension of Kenya from international football as soon as possible.

In a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino dated Sept. 8, Mwendwa called for a National Executive Committee meeting in the Kenyan capital on Friday. “Following the withdrawal of charges by the Directorate of Public Prosecution on July 8, I hereby wish to inform your good office that I have resumed my duties as the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, with immediate effect, in accordance with Article 42 of the FKF constitution (2017),” Mwendwa said in the letter.

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“The federation has made significant progress towards complying with the FIFA directive of Feb. 24, with a meeting scheduled in the coming days with the newly elected Kenyan government, to actualize the lifting of the FIFA suspension and Kenya`s return to international football,” he added.

Mwendwa`s resumption of duties is set to spark a fresh wrangle in the management of Kenyan football with the FKF Transition Committee, which was formed to take over his roles still in office until September 16, reports XInhua. Outgoing Cabinet Secretary for Sport Amina Mohamed expelled Mwendwa and his national executive in mid-October 2021 and directed the Registrar of Sports to undertake an inspection of the federation. She further formed a 15-member caretaker team, headed by retired judge Aaron Ringera to take charge of operations at the federation for six months as the investigations continued.

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Following the decision, FIFA barred Kenya from participating in regional and international competitions in February over what they termed as government interference in football activities. The High Court then threw out a case lodged by Mwendwa in March. FIFA has not recognized the Caretaker Committee that was transformed into the Transition Committee once the initial six months of its tenure expired in April. The new Kenyan government formally assumes power on Sept. 13 and it is expected one of the first tasks of the new Cabinet Secretary for Sport is to resolve the football crisis.

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