Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has announced that hence forth no national team coach will be employed on “closed contracts”.
A closed contract is one in which no clause or provision can be changed or modified without mutual consent.
This comes hot on the heels of a Fifa ultimate to the federation to settled a Sh109 millions payment award to former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche within the next 30 days.
In a statement signed by FKF CEO Barry Otieno on Tuesday, the federation said it was adopting this new employment policy to avoid the situation it now finds itself in with hefty payment settlements to coaches fro wrongful dismissal.
"...the federation, whilst remaining optimistic continues to actively engage both the government and Fifa, with a view of finding possible solutions to enable Kenya deal with the matter conclusively and without the possibility of having to be sanctioned," said Otieno in a statement.
"Essentially, the federation in an effort aimed at preventing a reoccurrence of the aforementioned case that was occasioned by former FKF president Sam Nyamweya, has henceforth adopted a policy prohibits the hiring of national team coaches, at all levels on closed contracts."
The federation statement has however drawn sharp reactions from several quarters questioning in what capacity Otieno was issuing the statement.
The Sports Disputes Tribunal ruled that the federation’s National Executive Committee term had ended, meaning that no binding decisions can be made by the FKF secretariat for the time being until Fifa makes public their decision on the ruling.
“Barry (Otieno) is an employee who implements decisions from the NEC, under the supervision of the FKF president. The NEC is non-existent and the president cannot make any decisions without the normalisation committee. So how can he purport to issue any directives?” posed FKF presidential aspirant Lordvick Aduda.
He added: “The only solution to this problem is for the Cabinet Secretary for Sports to engage directly with Fifa to draw up a payment plan. Otherwise our chances of participating in the World Cup qualifiers are growing dimmer by the day.”
Fifa also slapped FKF with a Sh4 million bill to cater for the arbitration process and Disciplinary Committee proceedings.
FKF also owe ex-Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson Sh55 million as awarded by the labour court.
The federation continues to blame former FKF boss Nyamweya for their woes. But the long serving football administrator has absolved himself of blame.
Recently, Nyamweya produced a letter dated February 5, 2016 in which he wrote to the sports ministry advising them to recognise Amrouche as the Harambee Stars coach.
“Dragging my name into their arrogant failure to honour a substantive contract in the manner Mr Otieno is purporting to do is laughable yet unfortunate, principally because it exposes the incompetence that has been resident at Kandanda House for the past four years — little wonder they were unable to respect the rule of law, Fifa Statutes and even their own constitution leading to the earth-shaking decision by the Sports Disputes Tribunal on March 17, 2020," said Nyamweya.
Nation Sport has since established that Nyamweya wrote a letter requesting Amrouche be reinstated as Stars coach after completing a year-long touchline ban by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Documents in our possession indicate that Amrouche, who was drawing a monthly salary of Sh2.5 million, had been reinstated as the national team coach by then president Nyamweya five days before the 2016 FKF elections that saw Mwendwa ascend to power.
A letter dated February 5, 2016 written by Nyamweya and addressed to then Sports Principle Secretary Richard Ekai reads in part:
“We would like to inform you that the official national coach of the Harambee Stars is Mr Adel Amrouche who, until last year, had been suspended by Caf. Following Amrouche’s suspension in August 2914, FKF had no choice but to employ Robert Williamson to take care of the team because we could not leave the national team without a coach.
“Caf has lifted Mr Amrocuhe’s suspension and being in contract with the federation, he should be reinstated to his position. We have already discussed with Mr Williamson and agreed that so long as he is paid his salary arrears and compensated, he has no objection to leave.”
This will be the third extension given by Fifa.