FIFA suspends Kenya and Zimbabwe over government interference
The two nations are disbanded after their local FA’s placed them on the wrong path with the Zurich-based body
World football governing body Fifa has suspended Kenya and Zimbabwe, president Giani Infantino has confirmed.
At a press conference held on Thursday, Infantino confirmed the development. Kenya’s Ministry of Sports – under Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed -suspended the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in November 2021 and appointed a caretaker committee that took charge of soccer activities in the country.
In Zimbabwe, the country’s federation was suspended by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) in November 2021 also. While the government-appointed commission disbanded Zifa, it cited some of the reasons, including alleged sexual harassment of female referees by technical staff and allegations of fraud, as the basis of their action.
“We had to suspend two of our members; Kenya and Zimbabwe, both for government interference in the activities of football associations. The associations are suspended with immediate effect,” Infantino said.
“They know what needs to be done for them to be readmitted or for their suspensions to be lifted.”
Meanwhile, in a letter obtained by GOAL, Fifa cited the appointment of the caretaker committee – chaired by Aaron Ringera – and the arrest of FKF president Nick Mwendwa and the transfer of his functions as some of the reasons that informed their decision.
“The Fifa Council considered that the aforementioned circumstances were serious and constituted a clear case of undue interference by a third party,” the letter read.
“Therefore, on the basis of Article 14 paragraphs 1 i) and 3 of the Fifa Statutes, – as well as Article 16 paragraph 1, under which the Fifa Council may, without a vote of the Congress, temporarily suspend with immediate effect a member association that seriously violates its obligations – the Fifa Council decided to suspend the FKF with immediate effect due to flagrant violations of the Fifa Statutes.
“Furthermore, and without prejudice to the ongoing investigations into the allegations of corruption, the Fifa Council decided that the lifting of the suspension be subject to the following conditions: The Cabinet Secretary’s decision of November 11, 2021, appointing the caretaker committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee
“Fifa’s receipt of confirmation from the FKF and its management, led by Vice-President Doris Petra and General Secretary Barry Otieno, that the FKF and its premises are once more under their full and unconditional control Consequently, and in accordance with article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, FKF loses all its membership rights as of February 24, 2022, until further notice.
“FKF representatives and club teams are therefore no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted. This also means that neither the FKF, nor any of its members or officials, may benefit from any development programmes, courses, or training from FIFA and/or CAF.
“Finally, notwithstanding this suspension imposed on the FKF and in line with Fifa’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and any other unethical conduct, Fifa reiterates its commitment to cooperating with any ongoing investigations regarding FKF officials.
“Fifa will, therefore, remain at the disposal of the national authorities during the suspension period.”