Voice of Sport

Amrouche has grounds for Sh150m compensation; claim, however, angers FKF

Sponsors and Government of Kenya likely to be bewildered by events surrounding the firing of football coach after a string of poor performances by the national football team


KENYA may be forced to pay up as much as Sh150 million [about $1.5m] for wrongfully firing their Belgian football coach Adel Amrouche earlier this year.

This has been pointed out by a member of Joint Executive Committee [JEC] of the Football Kenya Federation [FKF] and the Kenya Premier League Limited [KPL] which oversees the country’s Premiership soccer competition.

Terminate

But the reaction from FKF was that of anger at the JEC’s member’s caution. The FKF maintains that they terminated Amrouche’s contract “following the disciplinary action meted out on him by CAF [African Football Confederation] for misconduct.”

The account of events following Kenya’s elimination by Lesotho from the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, which prompted Amrouche’s firing within minutes of the football match, points to the coach having a good case for compensation on a possible appeal to Fifa.

Repercussions

The JEC member advices FKF to avoid possible ruinous media and economic repercussions in the protracted highlight of the Amrouche sacking saga.

“For example, will corporates be interested in FKF sponsorships when they read in the media that FKF unlawfully terminated a 5-year contract only four months after it was signed?

Unclear

The Government of Kenya was paying the coach’s salary and it was unclear whether the GOK would agree to continue pay the monthly salary/dues and compensation and also continue paying for the next four years.

There was also the rider: “Given the sudden and unlawful termination of Adel’s contract, will any reasonably good coach seriously consider coming to Kenya for the next few years?

The JEC member’s full account sent to the FKF President:

–  FKF disbanded the [Harambee Stars] technical bench only minutes after the Lesotho match

–  The national coach [Adel Amrouche] only heard about it through the media

–  That was a violation of the spirit and letter of the contract (§5.1f)

–  His 5-year contract was later terminated only4 months after signature

–  The termination letter contradicts FKF’s earlier supportive letter to CAF [against earlier CAF disciplinary action]

–  The termination letter was sent after CAF cleared him

–  His full salary had not been paid up to the termination letter date

–  There are only two reasons for termination in the contract (§8.1)

–  Neither of those two reasons is cited in the termination letter

–  The termination letter does cite “the national and public interest”

–  That is not among the “force majeure” items in the contract (§12)

–  That may also be a violation of Article 17:1 of the FIFA Statutes

–  The termination letter has never been properly served (§16.2)

Given the above points, Adel’s [Amrouche] top/former FIFA lawyer is confident he can easily win a FIFA/DRC [Dispute Resolution Chamber]  case for unilaterally and unlawfully termination.

FKF would then be liable to pay:

–  All unpaid monthly salary/dues plus interest up to the DRC decision date

–  Significant compensation for unilateral and unlawful termination

–  Full salary everymonth to December 2018 unless he gets another job (§8.2)

Liability

The full liability of FKF is therefore over Sh 150 million ($ 1.5m) until December 2018. But even if Adel [Amrouche] decided to take up one of his many existing offers and resume coaching elsewhere in January 2015, the FKF liability for unpaid salary/dues plus interest and compensation will still be at least Sh 15-20 million (note that §8.3 applies only if Adel [Amrouche] terminates the contract).

Media and economic repercussions

As FIFA/DRC decisions are public, there will be other serious media and economic repercussions as well. For example, will corporates be interested in FKF sponsorships when they read in the media that FKF unlawfully terminated a 5-year contract only four months after it was signed?

Will the GOK agree to pay the national coach’s salary plus the monthly salary/dues and compensation for the previous coach for the next four years? Given the sudden and unlawful termination of Adel’s contract, will any reasonably good coach seriously consider coming to Kenya for the next few years?

Fair play

As you have rightly said both privately and publicly, “Adel has done nothing wrong”. The termination letter should therefore be withdrawn on fair play grounds alone. But, as shown above, there are serious legal and economic reasons for doing so as well.

This matter has dragged on for nearly two months and now reached a critical juncture. If you truly want to create and leave a positive legacy, then on fair play as well as financial grounds you should withdraw the termination letter immediately.

–  Additional reporting by futaa.com