Kenya Swimming Federation Election Delays Could Lead to FINA Ban

Emily Muteti; Photo Courtesy: Grand Canyon Athletics

Kenya Swimming Federation Election Delays Could Lead to FINA Ban

The Kenya Swimming Federation faces a ban from FINA if it cannot conduct elections to fill its board, according to reports from the country.

The Star reported this week that FINA has been monitoring the situation in Kenya for several years, including a temporary suspension in Dec. 2019 for the same lack of elections. The former KSF head and FINA Bureau member was arrested in 2017, triggering changes in the organization. The KSF adopted a new constitution in January, but the elections that that document called for have not yet occurred.

Instead, an Interim Management Committee (IMC) has been in charge and delaying the elections with court actions. The KSF contented in a statement that the IMC’s delay of election was “deliberately due to personal interests,” per The Star. A deadline of Oct. 30 has been set to end the election blockade.

Without elections, KSF’s power and standing is diminished globally. KSF officials have been suspended by FINA. Should the standoff continue, Kenya swimmers could be barred from competing in FINA and African Swimming Federation (CANA) meets. FINA holds the leverage of a four-year ban on the KSF if the issues aren’t rectified.

The Kenya Swimming Federation has appealed to the nation’s Sports Dispute Tribunal to intervene and speed the way for elections.

“We have been given too many chances by FINA to get our house in order,” Nairobi swimming official Teddy Wamuyu said. “If we don’t, we will get banned for four years and our swimmers will suffer.”

Kenya sent two swimmers to the Tokyo Olympics, both in Universality spots. Neither is based in the country, with Emily Muteti training at Grand Canyon University in the United States and Danilo Rosafio based out of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

Under new president Husain Al-Musallam, FINA has signaled a greater emphasis on and investment in African swimming. Ensuring that federations adhere to agreed-upon norms would seem to be of a piece with that strategy.

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