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FKL, KFF row threatens football polls

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 31- Once again, the main protagonists in local football management have drawn out their daggers with the eligibility of voting clubs in the forthcoming Football Kenya (FK) elections at the centre of the row.

Football Kenya Limited (FKL) headed by Mohammed Hatimy and their rivals Kenya Football Federation (KFF) led by Sam Nyamweya, are engaged in a bitter stand-off over the names and legitimacy of the clubs that will constitute the voting block during the August 13 polls.

Both associations have turned the Independent Electoral Board (IEB) offices into a pitch battle zone as they haggle over the clubs that should be given the go-ahead to vote for a new football administration in under a fortnight.

IEB CEO, Peter Ongonji has been compelled to play the referee between representatives of both bodies whose haggling over the clubs has threatened to turn into a physical brawl.

The preparation of the voting register by the IEB, that is mandated to organise the elections, was due to be concluded on Saturday but the current stalemate could once again derail the electoral process.

IEB have pushed the publication of the list that must bear the signatures of the board, FKL and KFF before it is made public to Monday.

At the same time, Gor Mahia chairman, Ambrose Rachier, a latter entrant in the race for FK chairmanship, spelt out his vision as he launched his campaign at a Nairobi hotel on Saturday.

Representatives of clubs from grassroots regions took the stage to call for a fresh start to the country’s football management citing their long suffering under the regimes of KFF and FKL.

Rachier, who has masterminded the turn around of Gor, one of the most supported clubs in the country, from an outfit peppered by fan hooliganism to one of the most viable commercial brands in the Kenyan Premier League is out to transfer the success to national football.

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“Our work is to keep our clubs afloat throughout the country. We are the ones that hurt when soccer is mismanaged. Now we have an opportunity to vote the right people to the top echelons of our game,” Rachier stated during his address at the launch.

FKL chair Hatimy, KFF chief Nyamweya, KFF vice-chair, Twaha Mubarak and Extreme Sports Limited CEO, Mohammed Hussein are also in the running for the top post.

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