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No, Kenya’s national broadcaster didn’t report that new sports minister would sideline counties to revive football

IN SHORT: Kenya is better known for excellence in athletics, rather than football. But a claim that its new sports minister won’t work with the 47 counties to revive long-suffering soccer associations is fake. 

Football associations in Kenya’s counties pushing to take over running of the fractured game in the country have seemingly received a blow from the sports minister, who disowned them. (In some countries, the game is known as soccer.)

Kenya Soccer Meta Check

Or so claims a graphic with a quote attributed to the new cabinet secretary for sport, Ababu Namwamba.  

The quote, under a photo of Namwamba, reads: “My Ministry will only work with Sports federations and not County Association. County Associations are not recognized in the Kenya Kwanza Government. For the U-19 grassroot football tournament, my office will work with Football Kenya Federation (FKF).”

The graphic includes the logo of the state-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). 

The Kenya Kwanza political alliance, of which Namwamba is a member, came into office with the August 2022 general elections. It is headed by new president William Ruto. 

The graphic appeared days after Ruto announced the launch of a national grassroots under-19 football tournament. This is part of attempts to qualify Kenya’s floundering national team for major competitions such as the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2030 World Cup.

FKF is Kenyan football’s governing body. In November 2021 it was disbanded by the then sports minister. This earned it a suspension from Fifa, the sport’s global governing body, for political interference.

The government has claimed that its investigation found that FKF had failed to account for money received from the government and sponsors. 

Kenya has 47 subnational political units known as counties.

In May, county football associations urged the government to speed up their individual registrations so that they could take over management of football, which remains popular .

‘It’s fake’ – KBC

In November, Namwamba reinstated FKF with conditions. That same month Fifa lifted its suspension and is in talks with the government.

But KBC on its official Facebook page disowned reporting that the minister would sideline the county units, as claimed in the graphic. 

“FAKE NEWS ALERT| This image circulating online purportedly from KBC Channel 1 TV, is not from us. If it's not on our official social media pages, it's fake,” the KBC post reads.

 

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