Football: Fifa lifts ban on Kenya's scandal-hit national body

Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba (right) told reporters that he had met with Fifa officials in Qatar to review Kenya’s suspension PHOTO: AFP

NAIROBI – Fifa has lifted a ban on Kenya’s national football federation, following the government’s decision to reinstate the body after disbanding it over corruption allegations, the country’s sports minister said on Monday.

In February, football’s world governing body suspended the Football Kenya Federation, citing government interference after the authorities shut down the organisation in 2021 over graft allegations.

Earlier in November, sports minister Ababu Namwamba announced that the federation would be reinstated but warned its former chief Nick Mwenda, who is facing corruption charges, against returning to the FKF until his case was concluded.

On Monday, Namwamba told reporters in Nairobi that he had met with Fifa officials in Qatar to review Kenya’s suspension.

“I would like to express my delight for Kenya to return to international football,” he said, announcing the lifting of the ban.

“I am happy that Fifa has made it clear that certain issues of integrity, accountability and good governance in football will be sorted out and investigations into judicial matters remain alive,” he added.

A letter from Fifa, that was dated Monday and seen by AFP, said it had “decided on Nov 25, 2022 to lift the suspension of the FKF with immediate effect.”

The FKF was disbanded last November after an investigation into its finances revealed it had failed to account for funds received from the government and other sponsors.

Its then-chief Mwendwa was also arrested the same month after the government set up a caretaker committee to run football and look into the alleged financial impropriety during his tenure.

That case was dismissed over lack of evidence, but Mwendwa was re-arrested this July on fresh charges of misappropriating 38 million shillings (S$429, 800).

Kenya was barred from hosting or playing in any international matches under the Fifa ban. AFP

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