Badminton World Federation (BWF) has suspended Kenya indefinitely.
Making the announcement on Tuesday, BWF secretary general, Thomas Lund disclosed that the suspension shall last until warring parties at Badminton Kenya are able to organise fair and transparent elections in line with BWF requirements.
This is the second Federation to be suspended after Swimming Federation suffered this fate last year over similar problem.
Furthermore, Lund said, in a letter dated March 9, 2021 addressed to factions led by Badminton Kenya (BK) chairman Peter Muchiri and Geoffrey Shigoli, that the process shall be subject to confirmation by the BWF Annual General Meeting due May 22 this year.
“As per article 5.5 and 13.5 of the BWF Constitution, the BWF Council has decided to suspend Badminton Kenya from the BWF membership,” explained Lund, adding that as a result of this suspension, Binton Kenya shall be deprived of its ability to vote in BWF General Meetings, receive funding or membership grants, and directly enter players in competitions.
Lund said in a letter that was also copied to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president, Paul Tergat and BWF president, Poul-Erik Høyer that while Shigoli’s group is currently recognised by the BWF, the suspension applies to any entity representing Kenyan badminton.
Lund detailed that any solution reached will have to involve all the interested parties in order to be endorsed by the BWF.
“While we regret having to take this important step, we remain available to help the parties mediate in good faith and agree on a binding roadmap towards inclusive elections,” noted Lund, adding that they look forward to hearing back from the affected parties.
Lund noted that BWF Council was forced to come up with the harsh decision since the dispute between the parties has lasted for almost four years and that there is no expectation to
Lund noted that BWF Council was forced to come up with the harsh decision since the dispute between the parties has lasted for almost four years and that there is no expectation to resolve the issue.
“This undermines article 5.4 of the BWF Constitution, which requires parties to have an effective election system,” said Lund.
Lund explained that they on January 4, this year gave BK until February 7, this year 2021 for Badminton Kenya to organise inclusive, fair and transparent elections.
“This deadline extension was granted in light of the support offered by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (“NOCK”) to get out of the impasse,” noted Lund “Unfortunately, despite the parties meeting twice before this deadline, we have heard of no meaningful progress towards the organisation of elections.”
Lund intimated that a report by NOC-K detailed the various options reviewed by the parties, but there was ultimately no agreement nor potential for agreement between the parties.
As a result, BWF submitted the case to the Council for review and according to article 13.5 of the BWF Constitution, the Council can suspend the membership of a member association who, in its opinion, acts against the BWF, its Statutes, or its Principles, Purposes and Objectives.
The factional wars have bedeviled the badminton circles for four years, interfering with national teams training among other programs.