8 March 2007

Kenya: Fifa Lifts Ban

Nairobi — Kenya's national team, Harambee Stars, will now take part in the Africa Nations Cup qualifiers and other international matches after an indefinite ban slapped on the country last year was lifted.

The world football governing body, Fifa, lifted the ban today, which had locked Kenya out of all international football events.

Fifa's Emergency Committee granted the conditional lifting of the suspension, paving the way for the team's match against Swaziland on March 24.

The decision, which was recommended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and requested by the president and interim of the KFF, Mr Mohamed Hatimy, was made possible by the positive developments that have recently been noted, particularly in the wake of a visit to Nairobi by a CAF delegation.

Two separate leagues

This delegation comprised two members of the CAF Executive Committee, Dr Amos Adamu (Nigeria), who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, and Celestin Musabyimana (Rwanda).

The Emergency Committee suspended KFF on October 24, 2006, due to government interference in the running of the sport and non-compliance with the agreement reached with Fifa in Cairo.

Fifa was also opposed to the presence of two separate leagues within the country. It had wanted the Kenya Premier League to run an 18-team league but KFF set up a parallel 20-club league.

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