Kenyan government deports football developer Bob Munro
A week after FIFA’s decision to suspend Kenya from international football, the Kenyan government cracks down hard on clubs as well as individuals in Kenyan football.
Sports minister Maina Kamanda has dissolved the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) and the same time he has begun the process of deporting one of KFF’s strongest critics, Canadian born Bob Munro.
Bob Munro has lived in Kenya for 20 years and since his arrival he has been the main driving force behind one of the world’s biggest sport and development projects, Mathare Youth Sport Association, that helps more than 14,000 children and young people in slum areas and refugee camps.
As chairman of the professional football club, Mathare United, Bob Munro has played a key role in the showdown with corruption in KFF that led to formation in 2003 of the Kenya Premier League by a number of break-away football clubs.
In the beginning, FIFA took the side of the KFF and suspended Kenya for a couple of months because of the internal strife. But later FIFA changed its mind and in January 2006 FIFA signed an agreement with KFF which specified 28 demands that Kenyan football should meet to stay in FIFA.
According to FIFA, the KFF has not met the majority of these demands and therefore FIFA has excluded KFF from international football.
Now Kenya’s minister of sport Maina Kamanda has decided to dissolve KFF and put an immediate stop to both of the rivalling football tournaments. The government has set up a new care-take committee consisting of eight members to normalise the affairs of Kenyan football.
At the same time, the Kenyan government has paradoxically decided to turn its fire on the clubs that left KFF in protest and on Bob Munro in particular.
KFF accuses Munro of having misinformed FIFA about KFF’s attempts to meet the 28 FIFA demands, and according to the sports minister that is the main reason why Bob Munro now faces deportation from the country whose people he has been serving for 20 years.
”Bob Munro has done nothing for community clubs. He has a good chance of sourcing for money for other community clubs, but instead he has got the country banned by FIFA,” sports minister Kamanda told reporters today according to the website of kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
The situation could be quite dangerous for Bob Munro who has recieved a number of death threats over the years. In the beginning of 2006, unknown perpetrators opened gunfire on his home, and this week the KFF has sent out groups of youth to demonstrate in the streets demanding the deportation of Munro.It has not been possible for Play the Game to reach Bob Munro or MYSA for comments today.
FIFA is expected to react strongly on the Kenyan government’s decision but FIFA did not want to comment on the situation today.
- Read Bob Munro's encouraging account of cleaning up football in Kenya: Greed versus good governance in Kenyan football
- For a shorter version of this story, read an article from the latest Play the Game magazine: Taking soccer back from the thieves
- Read stories about the developments in Kenyan football at BBC Sport:
- Read about the case at the website of the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation: Govt dissolves federation (link disabled)