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Afcon 2023 Qualification: Cameroon Will No Longer Play Against Kenya

Kenya has been permanently suspended by the Football International Federation of Association, (Fifa) over issues of government interference in the federation.

The Cameroon-Kenya match, originally scheduled for June 4, counting for the qualifications of the African Cup of Nations which will be played in Côte d’Ivoire in 2023, will not take place. The Kenyan football federation regarding issues of interference from its government in its management has been placed under sanction by Fifa. Cameroon now finds itself with Burundi and Namibia in Group C. Where only one team will qualify.

Although qualification looks easy for Cameroon, Indomitable Lions Manager-Selector Rigobert Song thinks there are no small nations. For him, the group remains quite open. And he informs that these matches will allow to set up a good cohesion to prepare for the World Cup.

Kenyan issue

According to the texts of the International Federation of Football Association, (Fifa), the federations which are associations of the latter are not subject to government interference.

This is how Fifa last February provisionally suspended Kenya, “without prejudice to the investigations carried out by the national authorities or other judicial bodies, the Fifa Council has decided to suspend the Kenyan Football Federation ( …) with immediate effect for the cause of influence by a third party “revealed a press release from Fifa.

But, the country had however taken part in the draw for qualifications for Afcon. At the end of the latter, it inherits group C with Cameroon at the head of the group.

Except that the country has made its lot worse. The Kenyan government recently appointed an 18-member transition team to lead Kenyan football for five weeks. The new team replaced the outgoing one called the Interim Committee (CS), which expired on May 2.

According to Kenyan media, this development all but sealed the Harambe Stars’ exclusion from the Afcon qualifications. Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino speaking to the press said, a few weeks ago “they know what must be done for the suspension to be lifted”.

And this week, the case was again investigated. Kenya has thus been expelled from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after continuing to defy instructions from Fifa.

Root of the problem

Kenyan Sports Minister Amina Mohamed dissolved the Football Federation of Kenya, FKF in November 2021. She later installed government-appointed officials to oversee operations.

Federation president Nick Mwendwa was later arrested and charged with embezzlement by Fifa and the government.

Fifa has asked Mohamed to reverse his decision to appoint the interim committee. And she also clarified that control of the offices of the FKF is returned to the federation which should be led by the vice-president of Mwendwa, Doris Petra. Something that did not happen.

In addition to being barred from international competitions today, Kenya is also barred from all national staff development activities supported by Fifa for administrators, coaches and referees.



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Published on 30.06.2022

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