PtG Article 07.11.2006

Surprise agreement in Kenyan football, Munro still in the country

The ongoing drama in Kenyan football took yet another twist this Monday when Kenya’s Football Federation (KFF) and Kenya Premier League (KPL) announced an agreement of collaboration aiming to reinstate order in Kenyan football and relieve the country of its suspension from FIFA.

In addition, skepticism has emerged with regards to the legality of the order by Kenya’s sports minister to dissolve the Kenya Football Federation. Similar scepticism apply to his orders to prepare the closing down of the clubs in KPL and the setting-up of a committee to investigate the affairs of the Mathare United president Bob Munro with the aim of deporting him from the country.

Bob Munro currently remains in his home in Nairobi but has had to hire local police and other security after this past week’s public campaign against his person, he told Play the Game on the phone Sunday.

Differences put aside in face of common enemy

The collaboration agreement between KFF and KPL began in the most remarkable way. The previous Monday, the sports minister Kamanda expressed support for the meeting, yet hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin the minister launched his attacks on both KFF and KPL.

Wether it was intentional or not, the minister’s initiative has had the effect that KFF and KPL were able to put aside their yearlong disagreements which among other things has resulted in two national Premier leagues competing against each other.

At the meeting, it was unanimously decided that:

  • KFF will gain access to stock as well as a place on the board in KPL, which will now be renamed KFF Premier League Ltd.
  • previous year’s rotations in the KPL League must be respected by the clubs
  • efforts will be made to uphold the remaining 28 points in the socalled Cairo-agreement which was made between FIFA and its partners in January 2006

The agreement was accepted by five members of the board from each of the partners. However, neither KFF’s secretary general Dam Omino nor the chairman Alfred Sambu were present. The latter surprisingly told Reuters that he supports the sports minister’s decision to dissolve KFF.

Whether or not KFF’s own chairman supports the dissolvement, it is highly unlikely that Kenyan law actually permits the sports minister to dissolve both KFF and the KPL clubs. The government can take certain steps to dissolve organisations that are considered a threat to the peace and wellfare of the country. However, if the organisation is not willing to dissolve, the case should be tried in court.

”The minister may soon discover to his dismay that his advisers have put him out on very thin ice”, Munro tells Play the Game.

Play the Game continues campaign to stop deportation

Even though Munro these days needs to hire private security guards to ensure his personal safety, he states that he feels relatively secure:

”Kenya is a very gentle society. Happily the majority is not racist [Bob Munro is Canadian-born and white], and people do not like it when the government attacks individuals,” Munro says while thanking for the international support expressed on Play the Game’s homepage.

Despite the newest developments in this case, Play the Game continues its campaign to stop the deportation of Bob Munro. Two out of the four men appointed by sports minister Kamanda to the investigation committee are well known adversaries of Munro. Another member of the investigation is Peter Lisamula who is a member of the AFC Leopards, a club that has tried to close down Kenya Premier League by removing the club from the central company register.

Read the official announcement of the agreement between KFF and KPL (link disabled)