Ababu Namwamba targets ‘Fifa ban’
Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet secretary nominee for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts, has opened up on what he will do on his first morning as soon as he reports to work should he be appointed to the docket.
Speaking during his vetting session by the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments on October 21, 2022, Mr Namwamba said his first order of business as soon as he goes through the office’s doors would be to call the President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
“Should I be cleared to assume this office, I am determined to move with haste to start cleaning up this mess, starting of course, with the FIFA ban. If you cleared me, if I was to be sworn into office, my first morning in office, I will be on the phone with Mr Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA to resolve the ban on FKF (Football Kenya Federation) and Harambee Stars,” he explained.
“I want to listen a lot; I would want to say that in my first 100 days in office, I would do a lot of listening. I want to listen to federations, I want to listen to sports people themselves, I want to listen to stakeholders so that we , together, can draw a road map to return sports to the pedestal it belongs on. But most importantly, in line with the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, I would want to work with all stakeholders to turn sports into a huge industry.”
In February 2022, FIFA banned Kenya after the international football body accused outgoing Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed of interfering with the running of football in Kenya.
The ban came after Amina disbanded the FKF following accusations that its President, Nick Mwendwa, was corrupt and had misappropriated monies disbursed to the FKF.
Amina later constituted a caretaker committee to run FKF in November 2021.
FIFA’s ban saw Kenya’s national teams- Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets- banned from competing in international meets, shattering the dreams of several footballers and especially the youth. Additionally, Kenyan referees were barred from officiating at the 2022 FIFA World Cup set for Qatar in November 2022.