FIFA has finally lifted a ban on the Football Kenyan Federation (FKF).
In a notice on Monday, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said the decision to lift the ban was arrived at after Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba reinstated FKF Executive Committee.
Samoura further said following the ban, the global body will send representatives from both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to meet CS Namwamba in Nairobi.
“The bureau of the Council decided on November 25 to lift the suspension of the FKF with immediate effect.
“Upon lifting the suspension, a FIFA-CAF mission will be deployed to Nairobi in order to define the next steps for the FKF and to meet with the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Sports.
“The bureau of the Council decided on November 25 to lift the suspension of the FKF with immediate effect,” Samoura’s statement stated.
It added: “Upon lifting the suspension, a FIFA-CAF mission will be deployed to Nairobi in order to define the next steps for the FKF and to meet with the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Sports."
The ban had taken a toll on Kenyan football games for nine months since no clubs were allowed to compete internationally.
Due to the ban, Kenya has so far missed three continental events including the men's 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, CAF Confederation, and Champions League games.
Domestic club leagues also failed to kick off in August 2022 after teams vowed to boycott competitions until the FIFA ban was lifted.
The world soccer governing body FIFA in February suspended FKF over what it termed as government interference in running the sport in the country.
FIFA ban announcement
FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the ban during the 18th FIFA Congress videoconference meeting held on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
“We had to suspend two of our member associations — Kenya and Zimbabwe. Both for government interference in the activities of the football associations of these associations.
"These associations are suspended from footballing activities with immediate effect and they know what needs to be done for them to be re-admitted or for the suspension to be lifted,” Gianni said.
FKF, under the stewardship of ousted president Nick Mwendwa, was removed from office by the Kenyan government in November 2021 due to alleged misappropriation of funds.
There have been numerous court battles between the government and the federation with most of the cases yet to be concluded.
On November 11, 2021, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed appointed a caretaker committee to manage FKF affairs and that prompted an immediate reaction from the ousted office who protested the move.
During the FIFA Congress, the Zimbabwe Football Association was also suspended following government interference in the running of the sport in the country.
Embattled former FKF president Nick Mwendwa is expected to be charged afresh with misappropriation of Sh38 million at Kiambu Law Courts.
Judge Esther Maina of the Anti-Corruption High Court Division dismissed a request by Mwendwa seeking to bar the State from commencing a fresh criminal case against him relating to the theft of the colossal sums of the football body.
“After evaluating the submissions and all the documents before me it is clear that the charges facing Mwendwa relate to stealing under the Penal Code for this reason l find that this court has no jurisdiction to hear the case lodged by the applicant. I hereby strike out the application,” Justice Maina said.
The judge however ordered the main petition challenging Mwendwa’s prosecution to be transferred to the Kiambu High Court for the hearing and determination.
This means that the state can now proceed and prefer criminal charges against Mwendwa at Kiambu Law Courts after the FKF boss failed in his attempt to obtain orders suspending his prosecution pending the hearing and determination of the main petition.