Ababu asks caf to reinstate Kenya to Afcon 2023 qualifiers
Sports cabinet secretary Ababu Namwamba has pleaded with the Confederation of African football to reinstate Harambee Stars to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Kenya was locked out of the qualifiers following FIFA suspension imposed in February 2022 . The move forced Kenya to forfeit its two opening group games against Namibia and Cameroon. Burundi complete group C. Round three matches are scheduled to resume in March 2023.
Namwamba spoke on Monday after meeting a joint FIFA and CAF delegation in Nairobi.
“I do believe Fifa and Caf will consider peculiar circumstances under which the team missed the qualifiers and I request they be considerate and don’t punish our national team. This is one of the request I think FKF should present to Fifa and Caf,” said Namwamba.
Meanwhile the CS reitarated the governments commitment to emsuring sports federations uphold integrity and stick to values of good governance in the admistration of the associations.
The government, he said will however create an enabling environment for the thriving of the industry.
While promising a better relationship with all sports federations, Namwamba singled out Football Kenya Federation, which has in the past been at a cross road with the government leading to Kenya’s suspension from all football activities by football world governing body FIFA.
That suspension has, of now, been lifted.
“While government is not interested in interfering with the management of Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Government expects FKF to live by the irreducible minimum values. If that is done government will do their bit, FIFA and CAF will also do their bit.” Said Namwamba at Kenya National Library.
Namwamba was meeting with officials of FIFA and CAF to agree on a way forward and ensure Kenya faces no more disciplinary action from the world body and also succeed in their bid to host a continental football tournament before the year 2030.
“We have a long term program of taking Kenyan football to the high table, a continental and global high table. We don’t expect immediate results, it’s going to be long but we are going to be patient. We have set certain targets along that journey with the first being bidding for the hosting rights of the 2027 cup of nations,” added CS Namwamba.
The meeting came just a few weeks before the commencement of the bottom up grass root football, which will see coaches on the ground identifying talents.
“We want to see more coaches trained and their capacity built. There is a broader program to see Kenyan coaches trained to the elite level and we will consolidate that with football in schools, both primary and secondary to get talents with less than 19 years old.” CS Namwamba said.
The government will also work towards establishing the Academy of Sports across the country.