Enraged football fans have called for the arrest of disbanded Football Kenya Federation (FKF) ex-CEO Barry Otieno for his role in the treasonous crime of sabotaging the national women’s football team fondly known as “Harambee Starlets”.
The latest unrest in the Kenyan football community was sparked by a controversial announcement by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) on Friday 28th January 2022 claiming that their women’s football team, The Crested Cranes, will be playing at this year’s edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) following a purported withdrawal by Kenya.
The shocking news initially came as a surprise since prior local media reports had confirmed that the Kenyan team had already started their preparations for the tournament under newly appointed coach Alex Alumirah.
But late last evening, the puzzle was eventually solved after fresh details emerged that the embattled immediate former FKF CEO was behind the attempted sabotage.
Acting in contravention of the law, Mr Otieno wrote to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Secretary, Veron Mosengoomba, and claimed that the federation was incapacitated after it was disbanded by the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed.
The letter stated that the federation could not, therefore, find ways to honour the international fixture between the Starlets and Crested Cranes in an independent way.
This sneaky move was against a directive by the High Court barring former federation boss Nick Mwendwa and his agents from engaging in football matters until the case against them is heard and determined.
“Taking consideration of the existing government directive, taking over all football activities, the federation is unable to independently plan and successfully execute any international matches, which includes upcoming Kenya vs Uganda AWCON 2022 qualifier matches, scheduled to take place within February 14, 2022, to February 23, 2022,” Otieno wrote in part of the letter.
“However, the federation will keep CAF informed, should the aforementioned situation change and the FKF Secretariat regains access to the FKF premises and is able to fully control footballing activities in the country.” he continued.
The letter which was sent via Barry Otieno’s e-mail address ([email protected]) subsequently led to the premature cancellation of the match between the Starlets and The Crested Cranes who were set to face each other in mid-February this year.
Although the Kenyan government moved swiftly and denounced the fraudulent letter through Sports minister Amina Mohammed, the matter is made worse by the fact that as it stands, CAF and FIFA can only accept communication from the defunct FKF office and not from the government-appointed Caretaker committee.
For this reason, netizens have found it quite unfortunate that a character like Barry Otieno would willingly risk destroying the future of young football stars just to prove a point in his selfish politics.
While some have expressed suspicion that Mr Otieno could have been compromised by corrupt Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) officials into drafting the letter, most have insisted that he was acting on behalf of disgraced former President Nick Mwendwa.
“Nick Kithuku Mwendwa and that ninja Barry Otieno are the worst thing that ever happened to Kenyan Football, I hope they get the worst of KARMA,” former Tusker midfielder Tom Adwar wrote.
“Unbelievable how CAF have acted on a letter by people who were removed from the FKF office through due process to eject Harambee Starlets from AWCON qualifiers. This thuggery must be called out, the culprits of this treason against Kenyan football are well known,” opined accomplished sports journalist Milton Nyakundi.
Below is what others had to say.
Even though the alleged withdrawal of Kenya could hand Uganda a direct ticket to the 2022 edition of the continental showpiece that will be held in Morocco in August, the Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee has maintained that they will not let the Harambee Starlets’ second attempt of qualifying be thrown in disarray.
In a statement released on Saturday, the committee insisted that Harambee Starlets will, undoubtedly, travel to Uganda for the first leg of the fixture scheduled for February 17.
Latest reports now say that more shockers could be on the way as the Caretaker Committee now plans wanted to travel to Cameroon to directly meet CAF officials in a bid to attribute the situation.
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