NAIROBI, Kenya, February 17 – Two sets of officials claiming Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) leadership on Tuesday agreed to go for arbitration before conducting an Annual General Meeting to resolve their differences after meeting Sports Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario in his office, a highly placed source at the ministry told Capital Sport.
The same source confirmed contrary to widespread reports, the minister had not disbanded Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and appointed a caretaker committee in its place.
“We have no problem with rugby. Both sides agreed to go for arbitration and seek an amicable solution and when the process is done, they will hold an AGM to elect their leaders.
“They agreed to close ranks and a solution in the sport will be found soon,” our informant stated.
“That is not true,” the source added on disbandment of FKF mainitaing. “We have not talked about football today, the minister spent the whole morning with KRU and we are still waiting for FKF and KPL to hold their talks as planned tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.”
According to the highly placed source, Wario met KRU the group led by Sasha Mutai who was elected chairman at a Special General Meeting last week.
Interim chairman Gabriel Ouko who took over mid December after Mwangi Muthee resigned from the post is out of the country with the national 7s side and returns Wednesday morning.
Principal Secretary in the ministry, Jasper Rugut has been pencilled in to chair the arbitration process.
“Yes, we have agreed to go for arbitration because the Government was not happy with two groups claiming leadership of the union. We shall begin this process as soon as we receive word from the other side they are ready.
“We support efforts to bring the sport together,” Mutai told Capital Sport.
Last Monday, a new board led by Mutai as interim boss, Gerald Chege as his vice, Okoth as the Secretary General and Joshua Aromi as treasurer was ushered in to the Union with former national Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba, Kennedy Monari, Patrick Mwangi, Daniel Kimoro, Ochieng Ohaya and Doris Mwanzia appointed as Directors.
Ayimba declined his nomination with Ouko and his Secretary General Eddie Omondi terming the SGM that led to the leadership overhaul illegal and in contravention of a court order issued by Kisumu Magistrate Court stopping it with the new officials saying the court had no jurisdiction over a national matter in pressing on with their meeting.
Three days later, 18 affiliate clubs released a statement distancing themselves from the process that brought the leadership change with KRU’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for the end of next month.
– Hope for FKF, KPL spat-
According to the Government informant, the ministry is still holding out for a solution from the planned Wednesday Joint Executive Committee meeting between FKF and KPL to resolve their stand-off over the format and administration of the 2015 Premier League.
“We shall see how it goes after tomorrow (Wednesday). We are told they have agreed on who will be on the meeting and it is our hope this issue can rest.”
Kenya risks a world governing body Fifa ban should the Government step in to resolve the issue although that has not stopped the State in the past when trying to enforce normalcy in a sport with its history of leadership wrangles.
Wario told both sides he would not hesitate to inject a remedy in accordance with the Sports Act to end the stalemate that has seen two parallel top flight competitions for 2015.
The FKF Premier League kicked-off last Sunday with only one game on the card as visiting Shabana FC beat Nakumatt FC 1-0, with the two clubs who are not allied to KPL having their membership, along Kakamega Homeboyz, disputed by the league management company that insists on a 16-team competition as opposed to the 18 rooted for by the federation.