CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY: Mwendwa says ready to see Kenya banned than compensate Amrouche

CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY: Mwendwa says ready to see Kenya banned than compensate Amrouche

We would rather be barred from participating in the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers than pay Adel Amrouche, the Kenyan FA boss has said.

Football Kenya Federation has until April 24 to settle a $1 million debt they owe Belgian coach Adel Amrouche. 

Amrouche was awarded the sum by Fifa for wrongful dismissal. But Nick Mwendwa, the FKF president, says that unless they get funds from the government, they are not considering using Fifa grants to offset the bill.

“FFK will not use Fifa funds to pay one person Sh109 million (approximately one million USD),” Mwendwa said on a sports talk show on Radio Jambo.

“Fifa regulations state that if you fail to pay the fine then you can be barred from taking part in one major (Fifa) event.  Do you think we should use Fifa funds to pay one person at the expense of development? It does not make sense!” Mwendwa said.

Mwendwa also hinted that Amrouche could have colluded with the previous regime to get money from the federation. 

“I don’t want to respond to allegations but if someone is waiting for Amrouche to (share with him the money), the guy I saw at CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports), he will run away,” Mwendwa said when asked whether he thinks that this was a scheme by the Belgian to ‘extort’ money from the current regime.

“What I know is that he used to be paid in cash, in someone’s home,” Mwendwa added.

Amrouche was slapped with one year suspension by CAF for spitting on a match official during a match between Harambee Stars and Comoros in 2014. 

But FKF (then Kenya football Federation) brought on board Scot Bob Williamson on a caretaker basis with an option for Amrouche, who had a five year deal with the federation, to return to his previous role once he was done service his term. 

Mwendwa, for the first time confirmed that the previous office had actually written to theMinistry of Sports notifying them that Amrouche was the head coach and that Williamson was to vacate the post once his dues were paid in full.

But once Mwendwa  took over, he quickly hired former Kariobangi Sharks coach Stanley Okumbi, forcing Amrouche to go to CAS seeking compensation for wrongful dismissal. 

He was awarded Sh60 million ($600,000) but he appealed saying that the amount was little.   

Meanwhile, FKF also appealed citing that the amount was too much but the appellate court awarded the Belgian additional Sh30 million ($300,000) plus interest, taking the total figure to Sh109. 

FKF have until April 24 to settle the amount failure to which Harambee Stars will be struck off the Qatar World Cup Qualifiers, a decision that Mwendwa has no squabble with.