FIFA has banned Kenya from participating in all football competitions and issued new wishes to the government.
In a press conference on Thursday evening, February 24, FIFA stated that the Kenyan government must respond to a number of requests if the ban is lifted and football activities are allowed to return.
FIFA has called on the government to reverse its decision to dissolve the Kenya Football Federation (FKF) and form an interim committee. Failure to cancel this decision, all football activities in the country will remain indefinitely suspended.
The football board in a letter to FKF Secretary-General Barry Otieno called on the government to rescind the decision to form a temporary committee to oversee the country’s football affairs.
“The revocation of the decision of the Cabinet Secretary of November 11, 2021, to appoint an Interim Committee instead of the elected FKF Executive Council,” the letter read in part.
The indefinite suspension will be lifted only after the reinstatement of FKF officials led by Vice President Doris Petra and General Manager Barry Otieno.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, when he suspended Kenya from all football activities, said the FKF committee was formed illegally and was set up.
“Without prejudice to any investigations by the national authorities or other judicial bodies, FIFA has also decided to suspend the Kenya Football Federation and the Zimbabwe Football Association immediately due to malicious interference by a third,” Infantino announced.
Reason for suspension
On November 11, 2021, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed dissolved the FKF under the leadership of Nick Mwendwa and instead appointed a Temporary Committee to conduct football activities in the country for a limited time.
Judge (v.) Aaron Ringera was appointed to lead the interim committee by former KTN TV presenter Lindah Oguttu to lead his secretariat.
However, FIFA did not approve the change as its Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura, wrote twice to warn Kenya about the move.
Mwendwa was later arrested on corruption charges, forcing him to resign as investigations against him and other senior FKF officials continued.
Things started to go awry when the national women’s soccer team, the Harambee Starlets, was banned from playing in the final round of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations against Uganda.
Consequences of suspension
The ban will cripple all football activities in the country. This means that Kenya will not be able to participate in any overseas competitions, including regional (CECAFA), continental (AFCON, CHAN), international competitions (World Cup) and even at club level (CAF CC, CAF CL).
The ban will affect not only Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets, but also all other clubs participating in league matches.
Domestic players cannot sign with any professional club abroad at the time of suspension.
In addition, Kenyan referees will not be allowed to play in international competitions.
The Sports Department should provide direction and respond to suspension.