Kenya men’s national football team Harambee Stars have been officially expelled from the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The decision was arrived at after the world governing body FIFA had banned Kenya from all football-related activities in February this year. FIFA had cited what it had called government interference after the Kenyan government removed the Football Kenya Federation officials from office.
According to an official statement on CAF’s website, both Kenya and Zimbabwe are now out of the race to qualify for next year’s AFCON that will be held in Ivory Coast. Zimbabwe had similarly been banned for government interference.
“As a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by FIFA set aside, CAF has confirmed that both Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers,” said Caf in a statement.
The qualifiers are set to commence on the first day of June 2022 and Kenya had been pooled alongside Cameroon, Namibia and Burundi.
CAF had initially included Kenya and Burundi in the draw in April with the hope the suspension was lifted two weeks before their first match day.
Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the FIFA Congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.
Kenya was banned by Fifa from international football after the international body ruled that there was third party interference from the government.
This followed a move by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to disband Football Kenya Federation and appoint a caretaker committee to manage the affairs of the sport in the interim.
The term of the Caretaker committee ended in May and Amina has since replaced it with a Transitional committee and insisted she will invite Fifa for talks after ‘cleaning’ up the game.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa has also been charged in court with graft.
As a result of the Fifa ban, the national women team, Harambee Starlets have also been denied a chance to compete at the Africa Cup of Nations.