FIFA ratifies Kenya's indefinite suspension

FIFA ratifies Kenya's indefinite suspension

The decision was arrived at during the ongoing FIFA Congress in Doha, Qatar.

The global body governing football, FIFA, has ratified Kenya’s indefinite suspension from international football.

The decision was arrived at during the ongoing FIFA Congress in Doha, Qatar.

The matter was put to a vote with 198 members voting for the suspension with one voting against it.

The ban was effected in February this year.

A letter from FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura addressed to Barry Otieno of the disbanded FKF office reads in part, “on the basis of article J4 paragraphs 1 i) and 3 of the FIFA Statutes —as well as article 16 paragraph 1, under which the FIFA Council may, without a vote of the Congress, temporarily suspend with immediate effect a member association that seriously violates its obligations — the FIFA Council decided to suspend the FKF with immediate effect due to flagrant violations of the FIFA Statutes. Furthermore, and without prejudice to the ongoing investigations into the allegations of corruption, the FIFA Council decided that the lifting of the suspension be subject to the following conditions:

•             The repeal of the Cabinet Secretary's decision of 1 November 2021 appointing the caretaker committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee

•             FIFA‘s receipt of confirmation from the FKF and its management, led by Vice-President Doris Petra and General Secretary Barry Otieno, that the FKF and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control

Consequently, and in accordance with article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, FKF loses all its membership rights as of 24 February 2022 until further notice. FKF representative and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that neither the FKF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any development programmes, courses or training from FIFA and/or CAF.

Finally, notwithstanding this suspension imposed on the FKF and in line with FIFA zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and any other unethical conduct, FIFA reiterates its commitment to cooperating with any ongoing investigations regarding FKF officials. FIFA will therefore remain at the disposal of the national authorities during the suspension period.

The ousted FKF office under Nick Mwendwa was under increased public scrutiny over its management style, particularly financial and governance issues that came to a head on Thursday 11 November 2021 when Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Sports - Amina Mohamed, upon receiving the report of a Government sponsored probe on the organization, disbanded the FKF, replacing it with a Caretaker Committee under the leadership of retired judge Aaron Ringera.

Mwendwa was arrested twice and charged in court under the Anti-Corruption act, and due to the pressure that came with the hunt for his head, resigned from the Federation and left the mandate to his vice president Doris Petra.

However, despite that, CS Amina Mohamed still insisted that the caretaker committee she installed, chaired by retired Chief Justice Aron Ringera remained in place and would run football in the country.

And now, FIFA has insisted that the only way Kenya’s suspension will be lifted is when and if the Sports CS will back down on her decision to have a caretaker committee run the game in the country.

With the ban, Kenya’s national men’s football team stands the risk of not playing qualification matches for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and no teams will take part in next year’s CAF Club Competitions.

Already, the national women’s team missed out on a mega opportunity to play in the Women’s AFCON after CAF gave a bye to Uganda.

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