KFF boss Nyamweya throws in the towel

Published on 25/02/2009

By Robin Toskin and Gilbert Wandera

Sam Nyamweya has quit as Kenya Football Federation (KFF) chairman.

Nyamweya announced his unexpected resignation yesterday citing ‘pressure of business and personal matters’.

His resignation, however, comes amid reports of pressure from State House that he and his rival, Mohammed Hatimy who chairs Football Kenya Limited (FKL) step down.

But Nyamweya denied he had been forced to throw in the towel saying it was purely a personal decision. “No one forced me to quit. I made this decision on my own after consulting my family.”

“In life you must have priorities and at this time it is my feeling I cannot continue to give my best in terms of leadership required of the Kenya Football administration,” he said.

Sources familiar with the goings-on told FeverPitch Nyamweya and Hatimy were summoned to State House on Thursday where President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga told them to resign to pave way for new leadership.

It is understood Kibaki and Raila’s position is informed by a report by the Vimal Shah-led committee, which brought together Fifa, FKL, KFF and Sports ministry officials to find a lasting solution to local football leadership.

When contacted, however, Hatimy denied ever going to State House.

The report, which sources say has received the backing of world football governing body Fifa and CAF, has recommended far reaching measures part of which is the stepping down of the two officials.

FeverPitch understands the report also recommends a Management Board, not the FKL, to handle Harambee Stars through the final phase of the 2010 World Cup/Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.

FKL, whose controversial registration and ownership raised a furore and heightened the football leadership wars will stay in the backburner.

The sources intimated to FeverPitch Fifa had no problem with KFF so long as Nyamweya was not in the picture.

Twaha Mbarak who takes over from Nyamweya on an acting capacity said they have accepted the former chairman’s resignation with a heavy heart, but would convene a meeting to pick his replacement.

“We have accepted his resignation with sadness. It was a shock for us but we must move on,” he told the press.

He said Nyamweya’s decision is also subject to ratification by the Special General Meeting of KFF.

There was also confusion as to whether Mbarak takes over or not when some members of the National Executive Committee insisted that the senior vice-chairman does not automatically take over when the chairman resigns.

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