Kenya: Why Tusker FC and Vihiga Queens’ Continental Hopes Now Look Diminished

Nairobi — Tusker FC and Vihiga Queens’ hopes of a return to continental football next season now look all but diminished despite winning their respective leagues, after Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed extended the tenure of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transition Committee by a further two months.

The two sides had hoped that a new dispensation, devoid of the Committee from the Sports Ministry would take charge of football soon and aid them beat the June 30 deadline for submission of teams for continental football.

However, their hopes now hang in the balance after the CS extended the Transitional team’s tenure by two months effective June 16, which will take the team’s tenure well after the General Elections when a new government is set to take charge.

“1. The mandate of the Transition Committee shall be to–

(a) conduct all the affairs of Football Kenya Federation in accordance with the Sports Act, 2013 and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Constitution;

(b) co-ordinate and ensure the smooth running of Football Kenya Federation operations including team preparations for all local and international sporting events; and

(c) co-ordinate and facilitate the validation of the FKF Draft Constitution.” The Gazette notice signed by the CS reads.

The latest move now means the country’s suspension from international football by FIFA remains, with the world governing body having clearly stated that the only possible way the suspension would be lifted is if the FKF is reinstated.

Former Chief Justice Aron Ringera will no longer serve in the Committee which will now be chaired by Retired Lt Gen. Maurice Oyugi while former Kenya Rugby Union boss and CEO of the World Athletics Under-18 Championships Mwangi Muthee will deputize him.

The rest of the members of the huge committee will retain their slots.

Already, the national women’s football team Harambee Starlets failed to play their final qualification match for the Women’s Cup of Nations while Harambee Stars have been barred from participating in the 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Harambee Stars have also been excluded from the draw of the qualifiers for the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

The latest decision by the CS is a huge blow for Tusker and Vihiga who had hoped for another round of exposure and success on the continental front.

Vihiga Queens won the CECAFA Qualification tournament last year and represented Kenya in the inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League after which three of its players were scouted for international transfers.

Tusker also returned to the continental scene last year and reached the play-off round of the CAF Confederation Cup, with their skipper Eugene Asike making a transfer to Sweden after he was scouted during the matches.

This now essentially means that the closest Kenya can get back to international football, if and when a solution between the Kenyan Government and FIFA is reached.

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