Politics in Kenya’s football governing body Federation of Kenyan Football have taken centre stage after the John Avire scandal. The federation’s president on Monday morning named an Interim CEO Barry Otieno after Robert Muthomi stepped down to allow investigations on the matter.
The federation is accused of playing a part in helping Sofapaka striker John Avire land a deal with an Egyptian club without the knowledge of Avire’s club (Sofapaka). The scandal forced FKF CEO Robert Muthomi to step aside over the allegations that he tried to illegally sell Sofapaka and Harambee Stars striker John Avire.
In a press statement dated 21st July 2019, Robert Muthomi (The CEO who has stepped down) said his decision to step aside was to protect his integrity and that of his office. He also said he believed his action was good for the public’s confidence in him and the federation while describing the allegations as “malicious”.
“Given the on-going debate and conversations in regards to the allegations made by Sofapaka FC on my purported involvement in the transfer of player John Avire, I have this morning requested the FKF President to allow me to step aside for investigations to commence. While I have utmost faith in the independence and competence of the FKF judicial process as earlier stated, I realise that for my integrity and that of the office of the FKF General Secretary, as well as the greater football public a credible process has to be undertaken,” the statement read in part.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa has termed the decision by the CEO as a sign of how the federation has grown. Speaking at a press conference he called to name an interim CEO, Mwendwa commended the Muthomi for choosing to step aside amid investigations.
Mwendwa also said that this scandal exists only because Kenya does not have enough agents of the game who do a good job. “In most transfer deals, negotiations are made between the parent club and the player. We have not grown so far in the area of transfers,” he told journalists.
The interim CEO, Barry Otieno, was the head of communication at the federation. He will hold the position for as long as the investigations take place. If Muthomi will be found guilty of illegally selling Avire to Egypt, then the Federation will have to look for a new permanent CEO. If not, he will assume his position back.
Mwendwa said that investigations are ongoing and the findings will be made available to the media in due time.