In this 2nd instalment of our rationalization story for the reason that FIFA and its despicable duo of President Gianni Infantino and his Congolese side-kick Veron Mosengo-Omba continue to desperately interfere with the running of credible electoral processes in the Football Associations (FAs) in Africa and the Caribbean, we zero in on the Kenyan scenario.
Just two weeks ago, Mosengo – Omba clumsily shouldered his way into the unfolding Kenyan FA election fiasco, by brusquely rubbishing Kenya’s built-in sports disputes resolution mechanism on the one hand, then arrogantly summoning the interested parties (including the leadership of the same Sports Disputes Tribunal) to a meeting to resolve an imaginary crisis.
An example that clearly shows that FIFA, despite being the World Governing body for Football, currently ignores the basic tenets of the game, including teamwork and communication, the letter written to the Kenyan FA (FKF), pours cold water on a statement made in Nairobi last December by Sarah Solémalé, the Senior Governance Services Manager at FIFA.
Mme. Solémalé stated that “FIFA is closely monitoring the situation (in Kenya) to ensure the compliance of the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) decision (annulling FKF elections until compliance of its orders) is done and also within a reasonable amount of time. It is important for FKF to know that at the end of the presidential and the National Executive Committee term which is to end on February 10, 2020, elections must be held”.
“FIFA is very strict about that, we can be flexible and give an additional month but within the first trimester of 2020 – elections must be held.”
This well-reasoned statement, made in the presence of the Kenyan Sports Minister Dr. Amina Mohamed and FKF officials is greatly at odds with the vein taken by the latest letter from Mosengo – Omba.
The arrogance in the letter is premised on the oft-told lie that football is the most popular sport in Kenya, a grey area exploited for political demagoguery, where FIFA actually believes that its suspension of the country from International football would have political ramifications on the Kenyan political landscape, a scenario that most politicians (Presidents and Sports Ministers) would want to avoid.
Granted, football is the most popular sport in Kenya – yes, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the Euros – are head and shoulders the most watched and compelling television in Kenya on a weekly basis.
But not the Kenyan local leagues or Kenyan National Football team – Harambee Stars!
It is for this reason that Pan-African sports broadcaster – SUPERSPORT – withdrew its sponsorship and broadcast of Kenyan football in 2017, whilst simultaneously increasing the monthly subscriptions for their premium package that is powered largely by English and European football.
How is that for a reality check?
In Kenya, the Premier League (KPL) never passed muster in terms of drawing massive the crowds regularly witnessed in South Africa and Zambia or in the Maghreb, and the departure of SUPERSPORT signaled to other existing partners that the KPL was now a value-less property, exit stage left!
So while the Kenyan Sports Minister, Dr. Amina Mohamed, a highly polished and experienced diplomat, would likely not refuse to grant Mosengo – Omba an audience, it would almost entirely be predicated on the premise that she will fight tooth and nail to ensure that innocent Kenyan youth do not bear the brunt of the machinations by the clearly very selfish FKF officials and the global game of musical chairs being conducted by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
So we must ask ourselves the very hard question, what the hell is Mosengo –Omba going to sell in Kenya, and why is the Kenyan Football election critical to Gianni Infantino?
For the avoidance of doubt, Mosengo – Omba is coming to Kenya simply to ensure that he has paved the way for FKF President Nick Mwendwa to remain in office, by fair means or foul.
This outcome would in turn ensure that Mwendwa remains in office for a 2nd 4-year term that would go all the way to 2024, and which would make him eligible to vote at the critical 2023 FIFA elective congress, where Infantino will be seeking a 3rd term at the helm of FIFA.
Between now and then, Infantino knows that attempts to pass a vote of no-confidence in him by the FIFA Governing Council, would subsequently need to be ratified by the FIFA Congress.
So currently, Infantino is operating on the principal of, “you win the war one battle at a time, battles that you win one bullet at time”.
The 2nd premise upon which Infantino operates is that he “loves his Niggers weak and corrupt” which is why he went ahead and clustered Africa and the Caribbean in a quasi-official grouping, despite each belonging to separate Confederations (CAF and CONCACAF respectively), and then placed them in the “Development” docket of his friend and former classmate, the Congolese refugee, Veron Mosengo – Omba.
The singular reason for doing this is obviously extreme racism, by lumping the people who are of Negroid persuasion together, in a way that they can be managed and manipulated, mainly for voting purposes.
Conversely, the World continues to bear testament to Infantino’s loud silence whenever extreme racism against footballers of African descent, playing in European leagues is reported, when FIFA has the power to wield the big stick there.
On the issue of racism in Europe, Infantino operated like former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, the hawkish war-monger in the Whitehouse, who unwisely disbanded the in-house committee created specifically to respond to threats of global pandemics and which had been put in place by President Obama with groundwork done by President GW Bush.
Today, President Trump is speaking of the possibility of 200,000 American deaths simply because he had destroyed the well-thought out mechanism that would have arrested the spread of the COVID-19.
Infantino, in one of his first acts as FIFA President disbanded the FIFA Anti-Racism taskforce that had been set up by his predecessor Sepp Blatter, leaving the organization without a first line of defense against a rabid racism, that is driven by extreme right-wing Nationalism, and which gnaws away at the fabric of the global game of football.
However, what is causing Infantino this level of panic to warrant his active interference in the elections of Africa and the Caribbean, turn a blind eye to the massive looting of FIFA funds in these same Confederations, and in the process ensure the continued stay in office of hugely unpopular FA and Confederation Presidents?
Well, the giant Confederations UEFA, CONMEBOL and AFC still have their eyes set on ejecting Infantino from the FIFA Presidency, and just last month had planned to move a motion of no-confidence in him at their next scheduled FIFA Council meeting.
This plan was concretized at a joint meeting of these confederations that was held in Nyon, Switzerland in early February where the two penned a memorandum of understanding that included some highly radical anti-FIFA proposals.
Infantino and UEFA have been at odds for some time, UEFA rightly expected a balanced FIFA Presidency after they threw their 100% support behind Infantino, not knowing that he apparently could not help himself from the allure of Saudi Arabian money, fronted to him through Japanese SOFTBANK, and which he secretly accepted in exchange for creating brand new FIFA competitions and in the process cannibalizing existing UEFA, CONMEBOL and AFC competitions, for which each of the Confederations already had contracts and projected revenues for years to come.
Did UEFA, CONMENBOL and AFC have the numbers at the FIFA Council to execute the vote of no-confidence?
From an analysis of the FIFA Council membership, it would have been possible for them to muster at least 20 out of the 36 votes, and thereafter move to the next phase of ratification at the FIFA Congress.
When this plan was leaked to Infantino, he quickly called off a scheduled FIFA Council meeting, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, which will also impact the possibility of the FIFA Congress in 2020.
Infantino probably didn’t reckon that he was dangerously toying with the bread and butter of some very serious football actors who had much to lose, and compounded this injury by showing these actors that he had the power of the votes from the smaller and largely inconsequential football actors.
Surely the repercussions were going to be instantaneous.
To illustrate, UEFA has an annual revenue base of more than $4 Billion for its 55 members, when you combine its partnerships and broadcast revenues, while the 10-member CONMEBOL rakes in an average of $ 530 million annually and the AFC recently signed an 8-year deal worth $4 Billion, giving them an annual average of $500 million, which doesn’t include the revenues from the lucrative MENA region which they agreed to package and sell separately.
On the other hand, African Confederation (CAF), in a FIFA-induced adrenalin rush recently and with extreme prejudice cancelled their 12-year, $1 Billion guaranteed deal with French agency Lagadere Sports and Entertainment (LSE).
CONCACAF, despite only being able to raise approximately $80 million annually for its 41 members, is known more for controversy where it pays its President $2 million annually, which means that he has now surpassed FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA boss Aleksandr Ceferin’s earnings.
Clearly, to have all the six Confederations at par in terms of votes both on the FIFA Council and at the FIFA Congress should be indictable at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a crime against humanity.
Unless Infantino is able to make some serious concessions to the UEFA-CONMEBOL-AFC bloc during this COVID-19 downtime, they will inevitably make some serious moves to oust him, which might actually be an important turning point in the corruption-riddled history of FIFA and World Football.
It is therefore at the FIFA Congress that Infantino needs the votes of the FKF President Nick Mwendwa, a man whose loyalty is above reproach and over whom he has additional leverage in the form of the omnipresent threats to open up FIFA Ethics investigations for the mis-use of FIFA funds.
Nick Mwendwa has been a disaster for Kenyan football as shown by all indices available to Kenyans and contrary to the belief of Football officials from other countries, who believe that since Mwendwa has been successful in his tech start-up by the name Riverbank Solutions, and therefore presumably well-to-do, that he is above stealing FKF funds.
How wrong can foreigners be?
Well, in the very first self-serving act of his administration, he started protracted fight with the top tier Kenyan Premier League (KPL), pushing to expand the league from the 16 teams to 18 teams.
The expansion was ostensibly to accommodate the ascension of his own club – Kariobangi Sharks – to the top tier KPL, having suffered a lack of Championship promotion form for several years.
What is the use of being an FA President if you can’t engineer your own teams’ promotion to the top tier, right?
While he was able to marshal the FKF AGM votes to approve the expansion and in the process won a pyrrhic victory, he lost Kenyan football the entire plot, because SUPERSPORT used this increment of teams as inference for breach of their contract with KPL, and therefore its immediate termination.
The contract, which was in the first year of a recently extended 5-year term, terminated with an immediate negative impact for KPL in the revenue clauses.
Way to go Mwendwa, you fucking genius!
What is sadder to watch however, is that the current opposition to Mwendwa and his disastrous tenure as FKF President are the “same ol’ same ol’ “tired and uninspiring faces. Kenyan football clearly lacks the vibrancy to appeal to fresh and inspired newbies.
Kenyans watched in fascination and horror, the renewal of the on-again, off-again bromance between the KPL talisman Bob Munro and former FKF President Sam Nyamweya in a bid to take on Mwendwa.
Nothing underscores the pathetic choices available to the Kenyan population, than this choice.
Even more profoundly sad is the fact that neither Nyawmeya nor Munro will ever call Mwendwa out on his financial malfeasance of FIFA, CAF and Government funds.
The reason is as bizarre as it is factual, it is an open secret that the both of them wish to inherit the gravy-train and become themselves beneficiaries of the FIFA-sanctioned loot-fest.
For instance, over the entire 4-year term of Nick Mwendwa, FKF has received anything between $15 million and $ 20 million in FIFA, CAF, Government and Sponsor funds, majority of which has found its way into the pockets of Mwendwa and his cronies.
This outrageously large sum of money has barely moved the needle of Kenyan football fortunes Richter scale, the players, coaches continue to languish in abject poverty.
The Kenyan Premier League, which was thought to be the elixir of Kenyan football during the 00’s turned out to be a con-game, under the stewardship of Munro and his band of merry men.
With amounts in excess of $15 million passing through the organization between 2008 and 2017, these individuals pilfered the organization both at KPL secretariat and club level. None of them thought to invest, the KPL could not even purchase a permanent home. Clubs are now dropping faster than flies and the league is held up by a few individuals whose patronage of clubs is the lifeline.
Sam Nyamweya on his part, left FKF with a legacy debt of over $2 million, which has occasioned visits to FKF offices from auctioneers. Currently with a $1 million debt owed to former National team coach Adel Amrouche, FKF is staring at the real possibility of a FIFA suspension for failure to pay.
The Amrouche sacking was a knee-jack reaction by Nyamweya back in 2014 and will cost Kenyan football critical resources.
Now these 3 ne’er-do-wells are staring at each other from across the table, wondering who will blink first and hoping that lightening might smite the other and ease their way to the high table, where they can resume gorging themselves mercilessly.
“Kenyan youth, who the hell are those”, they wonder!
Part 3: Why Kenya could be the turning point against FIFA colonialism