Three Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidential aspirants say they will boycott Wednesday's nomination exercise ahead of the federation's elections on December 7.
The nomination exercise, which is conducted by FKF’s Electoral Board chairman Edwin Wamukoya, is set for FKF's headquarters at Kandanda House, Kasarani, from 10am.
But this trio — Sam Nyamweya, Moses Akaranga, and Steve Mburu — insist the process has already been skewed in favour of current FKF president Nick Mwendwa.
They cite the inclusion of “ghost” clubs and officials in the election register, plus supposed “draconian” rules governing the exercises as cases in point.
HALT THE EXERCISE
However, Mwendwa, who is seeking a second four-year term in office, confirmed Tuesday evening he will be participating in the nomination exercise.
"I have faith in the Board to conduct a credible election. My team has done some impressive work to fix football and we will do more if handed a second chance by the delegates," he said.
But Akaranga told Nation Sport he's penned protest letters to both Wamukoya and Sports Registrar Rose Wasike urging them to halt the exercise.
"Why collect a paper and pay (a nomination fee of) Sh400,000 when this (election) exercise has already been rigged in favour of that boy called Mwendwa?" he posed.
"I will not be participating in tomorrow's (today's) exercise. I do not wish to participate in a flawed exercise. I will await the court's decision on cases pending at the Sport's Disputes Tribunal and High Court," added Nyamweya.
Mburu added: "We have agreed not to participate. Football in Kenya is on its deathbed and there is need for an elaborate plan to fix it."
Former AFC Leopards chairman Alex Ole Magelo, who last week expressed interest in unseating Mwendwa, was unavailable for comment.
Another presidential aspirant, Andrew Amukoa, is said to have revised his ambitions and instead elected to vie for the National Executive Committee (NEC) member for Western. He was involved in the nomination exercise for this position Tuesday evening.
In an interview with Nation Sport last week, Wamukoya also maintained the exercise will be free and fair and urged those with complaints to explore conflict resolution mechanisms within the federation.
According to the rules, all presidential aspirants must pay a non-refundable fee of Sh400,000 and also be endorsed by at least five branches, a Kenyan Premier League, National Super League, Division One and National Super League club.
Being FKF president comes with a myriad of goodies including the mandate to control an estimated Sh1.2 billion annual football budget provided for by the government, corporates and via gate collections.
About a third of this budget is also received as grants from the sport's world governing body, Fifa, and continental affiliate Caf and only remains accountable to those two entities.
The FKF president is also in charge of supervising the development of football talents even as he or she manages the various national teams including Harambee Stars.
He is also accorded the luxury of touring the world to represent Kenya at Fifa and Caf Congresses, from where he gets to join a team of 200-plus football association presidents in creating policies and regulations governing the sport while pocketing handsome per diems.
He also is an invited VIP guest in the opening and final matches of most international tournaments including the Africa Cup of Nations and Fifa World Cup.
But it is the FKF president's supporting cast consisting of football delegates scattered across all the 47-counties in the country which perhaps makes him appeal to influential politicians.