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Fifa suspends Kenya

Fifa has slapped Kenya with an indefinite suspension from all football activities, effective immediately.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino, while announcing the decision at a virtual Fifa Council Press Council in Zurich, attributed the decision to government interference by Kenyan authorities.

“Without prejudice to any investigations by national authorities or other judicial bodies, the FIFA Council also decided to suspend the Football Kenya Federation and the Zimbabwe Football Association with immediate effect due to undue interference by a third party,” he said.

The move by football’s world governing body stems from a decision by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to disband Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in November last year.

She cited corruption allegations against federation officials in arriving at this move, coming after she’d ordered for a comprehensive audit of the sports body.

The CS replaced FKF with a┬áCaretaker Committee to, among other things, run football activities in accordance with the federation’s constitution.

She then appointed Retired Justice Aaron Ringera to lead the caretaker committee, while journalist Lindah Oguttu was installed as the head of the secretariat.

Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura wrote to the Kenyan authorities twice after the disbandment of the federation, asking the government to, at the very least, re-instate the secretariat of the body as they continue to look for a solution.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa was arrested on two separate occasions and charged with graft, before stepping aside.

But the move to disband FKF was immediately outlawed by Fifa amid threats of a ban. The Zurich based body, in a series of correspondences, insisted the government should reinstate FKF while opening the channels for negotiations to solve the impasse.

Kenya’s suspension means the country will be barred from fielding any team in any competitive event outside the country. These includes the men and women’s football teams, or clubs.

Similarly, referees will be barred from international assignments while no Kenyan footballer will be allowed to complete a professional transfer during the duration of the ban.