FIFA orders Kenya to pay ex-coach $1m or face sanctions
Nairobi: World football governing body FIFA, through its disciplinary committee, has given Kenya Football Federation (FKF) 30 days to pay former head coach Adel Amrouche over 109 million shillings ($1.03 million) for wrongful dismissal or face sanctions in failure.
Further, the Disciplinary Committee also fined the FKF $37,500 as costs sustained in connection with the arbitration procedures as well as those of the proceedings, reports Xinhua news agency.
FKF chief executive Barry Otieno confirmed on Tuesday the directive from FIFA, saying the federation remains actively engaged with 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.
This is the latest blow to the incumbent FKF office that blames the Amrouche saga on former president Sam Nyamweya, who was ousted during the February 2016 elections.
Last week, the federation under the leadership of Nick Mwendwa, was barred from conducting the National Executive Committee (NEC) elections that FIFA ordered to be completed by March 30, in yet another potential showdown that could lead to further sanctions.
In ruling to suspend the FKF NEC polls, the Sports Dispute Tribunal that petitioned FIFA to form a normalization committee to run the country's football in the interim and organize fresh elections also dissolved the mandate of the current office holders at the helm of the local governing body.
FIFA had given FKF a March 18 deadline to pay Amrouche who won a case against the federation for wrongful dismissal from his post in August 2014 after Mwendwa asked the world body to give them more time to settle the arrears on the account the federation is broke.
FKF then petitioned the government to settle the sum but the sports ministry said the State would not step in to pay the Algerian-born Belgian or other former Harambee Stars coaches owed by the federation.
"No government in its right senses would fork out 109 million shillings to pay an individual for the mistakes of an irresponsible federation. I don't understand it," sports cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed told a local publication a fortnight ago.
FIFA could take yet to be specified sanctions against the federation including barring Kenya from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers or a blanket ban from football.
Last October, FKF was also ordered to pay former Stars head coach Bobby Williamson over $531,000 for wrongful dismissal after the Scotland tactician was relieved his duties in February 2016 when Mwendwa came to power.
Amrouche was relieved of his duties after being banned by continental body CAF for unsportsmanlike conduct in an AFCON qualifier.
He had been found guilty of spitting at the fourth referee during Kenya's Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Comoros in Moroni in May 2015 but upon appeal, the coach was cleared and reinstated to his position but was nonetheless sacked when Mwendwa assumed office.
(Image from fifa.com)
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