NOC-K steps in to solve Badminton Kenya wrangles

NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) secretary general Francis Mutuku (right) addresses badminton players while giving them an update on Kenya's situation after the ban by Badminton World Federation (BWF) at NOC-K offices in Nairobi on November 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Pool | NOC-K

What you need to know:

  • BWF suspended Kenya indefinitely in March last year until warring parties at Badminton Kenya are able to organise fair and transparent elections in line with the international body's requirements
  • However, a petition by players who participated at the Commonwealth Games trials to NOC-K on September 27 this year seemed to have moved BWF into action
  • When meeting the players at NOC-K offices in Nairobi on Friday, Mutuku relayed the good news from BWF to the players as he explained to them the intended roadmap that will bring the warring factions together


Badminton World Federation (BWF) has now mandated the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) to lead the process of instituting reforms at Badminton Kenya within three months so as  to pave the way for  elections.

BWF suspended Kenya indefinitely in March last year until warring parties at Badminton Kenya are able to organise fair and transparent elections in line with the international body's requirements.

There has been no end in sight for wrangles in badminton even with the ban.

However, a petition by players who participated at the Commonwealth Games trials to NOC-K on September 27 this year seemed to have moved BWF into action.

The petition that was signed by 12 players was addressed to NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku and NOC-K Athletes’ Humphrey Kayange came after a player, Saumya Gupta, was barred from competing in some international tournaments right after the Commonwealth Games.

NOC-K, who had been on the forefront to resolve years of wrangles at Badminton Kenya without success, wrote to BWF highlighting the players’ plight while pitching for a way out of the quagmire.

When meeting the players at NOC-K offices in Nairobi on Friday, Mutuku relayed the good news from BWF to the players as he explained to them the intended roadmap that will bring the warring factions together.

WBF Secretary General, Thomas Lund, in a letter dated November 17, 2022 to NOC-K stated the BWF Council had agreed to NOC-K’s initiative to help see athletes allowed to participate in events, having been in the cold for two years and counting.

Mutuku noted that during the Association of the National Olympic Committee of Africa (ANOCA) meeting two weeks ago, he met with representatives from BWF where they discussed the current state of badminton in the country.

NOC-K will now form a five-man committee that will comprise two officials from outside Badminton Kenya to lay the groundwork for fresh elections.

The committee will also be joined by a representative from NOC-K, the Ministry of Sports and Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC).

However, BWF has emphasised on the importance for the new leadership to be elected through inclusive, fair and transparent elections, during which the whole badminton community of Kenya will be invited to participate.

Kayange called on the players not to lose hope as they try to resolve the stalemate.

“We have been in talks with BWF since Gupta’s case. We have made progress on this unfortunate situation,” said Kayange.

Sammy Sikoyo, who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August, expressed his joy as he called for an end to their problems.

“All players want to go back to courts next year, which is crucial for our qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

The players will now be looking forward to featuring at the African Games due for August 4 to 19 next year in Ghana. 

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