Mwendwa Kenyan football boss gets bail

Football Kenya Federation boss Nicholas Mwendwa

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa

Nick Mwendwa, president of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), was granted bail by a Kenyan court on Monday after police had sought his detention for 14 days.

Mwendwa’s bail was set at 4 million Kenyan shillings ($35,700).

Police had told the court they needed to hold him to allow for an investigation into allegations of corruption.

Police arrested Mwendwa on Friday, the day after the sports ministry announced that a caretaker committee would run the federation for six months, in flagrant violation of FIFA rules.

But sports minister Amina Mohammed insisted Mwendwa must be investigated over allegations of financial irregularities during his tenure.

There is concern that the move could have broader implications for Kenyan football.

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World soccer’s governing body FIFA has previously suspended countries, including Kenya, for government interference in a national football body.

“Over the past few years, the Football Kenya Federation has faced several governance issues that have been of great concern to the ministry,” Amina Mohamed said last week.

The FKF, Mohamed said, had failed to account for all of the public funds that had been allocated to it and failed to disclose financial assistance received from other sponsors.

While Mwendwa is on bail, police said they will continue their investigation into the allegations, which they said include “fictitious” money transfers and withdrawals.

“From the documents we have seen, this appears to be a witch-hunt,” Erick Mutua, one of Mwendwa’s lawyers, told Reuters.

“No evidence indicating financial mismanagement or theft of funds had been shown”, Mutua said.

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