Kenya seeks inclusion in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
Players from the Kenya men´s national deaf football team watch an interpreter do sign language during a training session at Moi International Sports Center in Nairobi on September 6, 2021. Kenya will host the 2021 African Deaflympics Qualifiers from September 11 to 25 , 2021. Football and basketball national teams will try to qualify for the 2022 Deaflympics that will be held in Brazil and were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This will be the first time a Kenyan national deaf football team will compete on an international stage. (Photo by Patrick Meinhardt / AFP)
(AFP) - Kenya appealed on Monday to the Confederation of African Football to be included in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Kenya was excluded from the tournament after FIFA suspended the Kenya Football Federation (FKF) in February last year, accusing the government of interfering in the sport when it disbanded the national governing body.
But FIFA agreed to lift the suspension in November last year following the Kenyan government's decision to reinstate FKF, which had been dissolved over suspicions of corruption.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba told a visiting FIFA and CAF delegation that the government was not interested in being involved in direct management of football but only ensuring the sport was run properly.
"Football has its own infrastructure to manage the affairs of football," he said at a joint press briefing with the visiting football officials.
"This government only wants proper laws, accountability, good governance and transparency from those who lead football in order to attract sponsors."
The minister said Kenya wanted to take part in the 2023 Africa Cup, with a qualifier between Kenya and Cameroon pencilled in for March.
"We have made it very clear to both CAF and FIFA that Kenyan football is at rock bottom. I believe FIFA and CAF will be considerate in Kenya's peculiar situation," Namwamba said.
"It was a special circumstance that led to the suspension of (national team) Harambee Stars from the qualifiers," he added.
Before the suspension, Kenya had been drawn in Group C of the qualifiers which kicked off in August last year, alongside Burundi, Cameroon and Namibia.
CAF legal counsel Nadim Magdy, who was part of the delegation, said the continent's football governing body would meet "soon" to discuss Kenya's request.
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