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Kenya feels effects of Fifa suspension

Six months after Kenya was indefinitely suspended by Fifa owing to third-party interference, the effects of that punishment are beginning to bite.

Here are some.

1.Harambee Stars – The men’s national football team has been banned from competing at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire. The team’s exclusion was confirmed on Tuesday by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the tournament organizers.

This means Kenyan footballers will miss the chance to potentially compete against their other seasoned players from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and Morocco. Kenya had been pooled alongside Cameroon, Burundi, and Namibia in the qualification campaign. It also means Kenya’s Fifa ranking could be affected for the worse.

2. Harambee Starlets – The women’s national team was recently kicked out of international assignments and missed the chance to play against Uganda in the Africa Women Nations Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

This was a big blow as the women’s teams have been among the brightest spots in Kenyan football, with several players spotted on international duty impressing scouts and earning moves to Europe.

3. Referees – Similarly, Kenyan referees and match commissar have been barred from officiating at international matches.

As a result, three referees who’d been earmarked to officiate at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar in November of 2022, have since been struck off the list. It implies they miss out on the exposure and, of course, hefty allowances and recognition that come with this assignment.

4. Footballers – As a result of Fifa’s suspension, Kenyan players will likely be barred from completing professional moves outside the country as they will not be in a position to process an International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

5. Kenyan clubs – Clubs that win the local football leagues will likely also be barred from competing at continental assignments.

These include Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz, which are considered favourites to win the FKF Premier League this season but may be barred from competing in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

Vihiga Queens, tipped to win the women’s title, could also remain in the cold.

6. Fans – Kenyan fans will also miss a taste of international action, including watching their favorite international players in flesh.