FIFA lifts Kenya's international suspension

NAIROBI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- FIFA lifted Kenya's suspension from international football on Monday.

In a letter addressed to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Barry Otieno from Doha, Qatar, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said the suspension had been lifted without prejudice to the ongoing investigations and court cases.

"Upon the lifting of the suspension, a FIFA-CAF (Confederation of African Football) mission will be deployed to Nairobi in order to define the next steps for the FKF and to also meet with the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Sports. Further details will be communicated accordingly and in due course," Samoura said in the letter.

Otieno confirmed that FKF office, which was seized by the government in November last year, has been handed back to the local FA's elected leadership.

These developments informed the Bureau sitting on the sidelines of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar to lift the suspension on November 25.

The lifting of the suspension ended a turbulent year in Kenyan football that started on November 11, 2021, when the then Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed, announced the expulsion from the office of the FKF Executive Committee led by president Nick Mwendwa.

Mohamed then appointed a Caretaker Committee and Secretariat to manage Kenyan football affairs for an initial six-month period.

Mwendwa was subsequently arrested twice before he was charged with corruption and abuse of office relating to the misuse of public funds given to the team to participate in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

In February, FIFA wrote to the government asking them to repeal the decision as Mwendwa stepped aside from office, with his deputy Doris Petra taking interim charge but the government declined.

FIFA then ratified an indefinite suspension on Kenya on March 31 over government interference.

After the initial mandate of the Caretaker Committee elapsed, Mohamed constituted a Transitional Committee whose mandate was extended twice until August 15 but by then a new government had been voted in.

Upon succeeding Mohamed, Ababu Namwamba met the FKF Executive and announced their return to office, although Mwendwa would remain out of the office until the cases brought against him are heard and determined.

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