As the clock ticks towards the April 6, meeting between FIFA, the Sports Ministry and members of the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT), a number of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs have expressed concern that a disagreement could lead to a ban on the country.
The clubs want a quick resolution to the matter and have called for an obedience to the FIFA directive.
Ulinzi Stars chairman Eric Oloo said: “We are well aware that all football federations are obliged to follow the FIFA statutes which gives them a right to enjoy financial assistance including development programs.”
“A ban will negatively impact on Kenya as we will be barred from taking part in international competitions. In this case, the losers will be players who will lose out on any revenues as they are only guaranteed of getting when we take part in competitions.”
He also pointed out the potential loss off training opportunities for coaches and referees something he says will lead to a total mess on the sport.
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Chief Executive Sebastian Ogola said a FIFA ban will lead our football to the graveyard.
“Without international competitions, we will have nothing to judge ourselves with leading to low standards. We must rise above our personal interests and do what is good for our football,” he said.
For Kariobangi Sharks chairman Robert Maoga, the prospect of a FIFA ban cannot be entertained at this time as it will lead to loss of all investments made in the sport.
“We just want to continue playing football as we have invested a lot in young players and infrastructure. If we get banned, we will lose all this resources and worse, sponsors will run away,” he said.
Kariobangi Sharks have recently signed a shirt sponsorship deal with betting company Betway.
Sofapaka chairman Elly Kalekwa this is not the first time that the country finds itself in a similar situation.
“For sure FIFA will ban Kenya if we do not follow their directive. We have no choice but to do what they have asked.
“That will not be the best thing for us at this time because we will have nothing to play for. Some officials do not care whether we are banned or not as they only concerned about their own interest,” he said.
Kalekwa particularly expressed concern about the inability to sell players in case of a ban something he says will greatly impact club’s revenues.