Hope springs eternal

January 23, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, January 23 – The government and the World soccer governing body Fifa have resolved to form a reconciliation committee to end football wrangles in the country.

At the same time, the government called for the reinstatement of Francis Kimanzi as Harambee Stars coach. Kimanzi was sacked last Sunday but Minister of Sports Hellen Sambili says that he should stay on as the coach.

“Kimanzi has done a good job. He has brought our team from where it was last year to qualifying for the final phase of the 2010 World Cup qualifying rounds. We feel that he should continue because he understands our players, understands our situation in the country and he has done well,” she said.

Speaking after holding a meeting with Fifa President Sepp Blatter on Thursday, Sambili said that they had resolved to form a body to streamline and merge the two warring factions.

“We agreed that a team be put in place to look at these issues with a view to getting a lasting solution. This team should be constituted by the time the final World Cup qualifiers start in March,” said Sambili.

The committee she said will include two officials from the government, two from football kenya Limited, two from Kenya Football federation, one from Confederation of African Football, one from Fifa as well as a legal advisor who will also be drawn from Fifa.

Sambili said that it was necessary to form the committee because there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed between the two groups who have been fighting for control of the sport.

“Some issues have to be resolved. For example, the goal project which was funded by Fifa is in KFF’s name yet Fifa now recognizes FKL and that is just but one example,” she opined.

The minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to working with Fifa for the good of the sport in the country.

“We have to work with Fifa because they run football worldwide. In fact we have requested them to help us benefit from the staging of the 2010 world Cup in South Africa,” said Sambili.

She however confirmed that she had declined to meet FKL officials who were in Zurich at the same time as herself, “They were there but I refused to meet them because they were supposed to brief me after their special general meeting on November 15 but they are yet to do so and I saw no reason why we should then meet in Zurich if we could not find time in Nairobi.” 


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