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Former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche passes over instructions during a past session at the City Stadium in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu/File

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Kenya into deep end over Amrouche debt

Former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche passes over instructions during a past session at the City Stadium in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu/File

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – If the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) does not remit Sh109 million into Adel Amrouche’s accounts in the next 30 days, then the country will be barred from participating in the qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and any other events organized by the world governing body.

The financially depleted Federation now finds itself between a rock and a hard place on where to get a total of Sh113mn in the next 30 days, Sh4mn of which will be to cater for the costs of the case that was deliberated upon by the FIFA Disciplinary Department in Zurich on Monday afternoon.

“We are engaging with both FIFA and the government to see how best we can come up with a solution for this impasse. For sure, we cannot get that amount to pay Amrouche,” FKF CEO Barry Otieno told Capital Sport.

Amrouche, now the head coach of the Botswana national team was sacked from his role in 2014, a decision that didn’t rest well with him and he took the matter to FIFA.

Former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche during a past session at the City Stadium in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu/File

Monday’s decision by the Disciplinary Committee chaired by Anin Yeboah gave what looks like a final warning to Kenya after two other ultimatums were not adhered to.

“If payment is not made to the Creditor and proof of such a payment is not provided to the secretariat to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee by this deadline, the present matter will, upon request of the Creditor, be resubmitted to the Disciplinary Committee to impose harsher sanctions on the Football Kenya Federation. These sanctions may lead, amongst others, to an expulsion from FIFA competitions,” the statement from the Committee on Monday read in part.

The Government has categorically stated it will not be involved with payment of the debt, with Sports CS Amina Mohammed being quoted as saying they cannot shoulder the burden of mistakes from individual Federations.

A Player Status Committee judge on August 29, 2017 handed Amrouche the hefty pay over his unlawful dismissal from the helm of the national team after he was sacked in 2014.

This is after he had initially filed the case in 2016. He however appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration of Sports, saying he should be awarded more than the Sh65mn given by the Status Committee.

Former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche with his assistant James Nandwa during a past training session at the City Stadium in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu/File

In turn, CAS went on to award him the sum of up to Sh109mn over the wrongful dismissal.

While the burden of pay is left on the Federation, there have been blames and counter blames between the current office led by Nick Mwendwa and the former regime, headed by Sam Nyamweya on who erred in firing the charismatic Belgian.

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Mwendwa and his team have continually blamed Nyamweya and his office for the mess, even as they continue shouldering another burden, that of paying another former coach Bobby Williamson another Sh55mn pay-out having sacked him when they took office in 2016.

Meanwhile, Nyamweya has maintained they never sacked Amrouche, shifting the blame to Mwendwa’s side for ‘failing to negotiate’ with the Belgian tactician.

Amrouche was sacked by Nyamweya’s office officially on September 12, 2014 after he was served with six-month suspension by CAF after an incident in Comoros with allegations that he spat on a match official in a qualifier at the island nation.

Former Harambee Stars head coach Adel Amrouche with former Football Kenya Federation chief Sam Nyamweya during a past press briefing in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu/File

“The ban by (CAF) has limited his ability to continue his coaching duties until he has served the full term of his suspension.  The ban covers 6 CAF organized matches and as you are aware this ban will filter into mid next year at the earliest,” the statement released by then FKF Media Officer John Kariuki stated.

It adds; “We therefore notify all and sundry that FKF has no parallel contracts in force and the speculation that Adel Amrouche is still the head coach of Harambee stars is both misguided and untrue and an attempt to portray the federation in bad light. In view of the foregoing the FKF NEC was left with no option but to interpret and invoke the clause in his contract that has rendered the contract naturally terminated.”

But, Nyamweya has since gone back on that word, stating they had reinstated the tactician after his ban ended, even after they had already appointed Scot Williamson to take charge of the team.

The Federation is now left with a mountain of a battle to fight, another quagmire facing their eyes while still waiting on word from FIFA over their elections that were thrown out of the window by the Sports Disputes Tribunal.

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