FIFA has lifted a ban on Kenya’s national football federation, following the government’s decision to reinstate the body after disbanding it over corruption allegations, the country’s sports minister said Monday.
In February, football’s world governing body suspended the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), citing government interference after the authorities shut down the organisation last year over graft allegations.
Earlier this month, Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba announced that the federation would be reinstated but warned its former chief, who is facing corruption charges, against returning to the FKF until his case was concluded.
On Monday, Namwamba told reporters in Nairobi that he had met with FIFA officials in Qatar to review Kenya’s suspension.
“I would like to express my delight for Kenya to return back to international football,” he said, announcing the lifting of the ban.
“I am happy that FIFA has made it clear that certain issues of integrity, accountability and good governance in football will be sorted out and investigations into judicial matters remain alive,” he added.
A letter from FIFA, that was dated Monday and seen by AFP, said it had “decided on 25 November 2022 to lift the suspension of the FKF with immediate effect.”
The FKF was disbanded last November after an investigation into its finances revealed it had failed to account for funds received from the government and other sponsors.
Its then chief Nick Mwendwa was also arrested the same month after the government set up a caretaker committee to run football and look into the alleged financial impropriety during his tenure.
That case was dismissed over lack of evidence, but Mwendwa was re-arrested in July this year on fresh charges of misappropriating 38 million shillings ($312,000).
Kenya was barred from hosting or playing in any international matches under the FIFA ban.