FIFA has appointed "normalisation committees" that have effectively taken charge of the running of football in Cameroon and Sierra Leone while ordering the Rwanda Football Association (Ferwafa) to postpone presidential elections scheduled for this weekend.
At least 14 members of the Rwandese general assembly raised concerns about a lack of transparency and a violation of the Fifa electoral code on the eve of the elective congress in Kigali on Sunday and the world controlling body put the elections on hold.
A spokesperson for the 14 calling themselves “Rwanda Football Coalition for Change” dispatched an urgent letter to Fifa detailing their concerns and adding that they observed that the electoral process lacked proper procedures.
Fidele Kanamugire said they requested Ferwafa to make alterations to suit Fifa standards but the local body replied that each FA had the right to establish its own regulations that govern their functionality.
“We disagreed with their response because firstly it is unconstitutional and secondly, they know there are regulations that must be followed by all Fifa member Associations, which prompted us to seek for Fifa intervention and we’re happy that our concerns were heard,” Kanamugire said.
Kanamugire revealed that in terms of the Fifa requirements towards elections, an independent electoral commission should be appointed six months prior to the election dates; that the commission must not include someone working in government; and that there should be an arbitration team in case of any appeal that may arise.
He further noted that according to standard procedure, the federation’s secretary general, Tharcille Latifa Uwamahoro, is supposed to be on the electoral commission but in Ferwafa’s case she is not.
Incumbent Vincent Nzamwita, who was last week accused of alleged corrupt practices and embezzlement of the association’s funds, is being challenged by Albert Mwanafunzi in the election that was initially scheduled for September 10.
In another development, Liberia Football Association (LBA) president Musa Bility has been appointed by Fifa to head an integrity task force to clear the path for presidential elections in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Musa, a Caf executive member, will lead a five-man delegation comprising Fifa director of member associations Veron Mosengo Omba, Fifa manager of development programmes for Africa Solomon Mudege, and Sierra Leone FA representative Drucil Taylor.
The Sierra Leone Ministry of Sports has yet to submit its choice of representative in the remaining slot on the task force, whose work will pave the way for SLFA elections.
The body’s mandate will be to carry out integrity tests on all potential candidates in the forthcoming SLFA election as stated in an MOU documented and signed last year by Fifa, the SLFA and Ministry of Sports.
“The objective of the first meeting is to assess the current situation and discuss next steps to address the above mentioned issues in view of inter alia, paving the way for a timely holding of SLFA election,” said Bility.
Meanwhile, another normalisation committee has been appointed by Fifa to take control of football in Cameroon, something that has been blamed for the capitulation of the Indomitable Lions in recent weeks.
In an attempt to avoid a leadership vacuum in Cameroon, the normalisation committee has been tasked with the daily running of the Federation of Cameroonian Football (Fecafoot) and to draft new statutes in consultation with all stakeholders.
The committee has been further tasked to identify delegates of the Fecafoot general sssembly and of the regional and departmental leagues and organisation to conduct elections of the new Fecafoot executive.
The committee will also act as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the elections.
The recent failed attempts by Fifa to reconcile the warring football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse since the disputed election of Tombi a Roko Sidiki three years ago led to the formulation of this committee.