Kenya requested inclusion in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations from the Confederation of African Football on Monday.
Kenya was barred from competing in the tournament after FIFA suspended the Kenya Football Federation (FKF) in February of last year, accusing the government of interfering in sport by disbanding the national governing body.
However, FIFA agreed to withdraw the suspension in November of last year in response to the Kenyan government’s decision to reestablish FKF, which had been dissolved due to corruption allegations.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba told a FIFA and CAF delegation that the government was not interested in direct supervision of football, but rather in ensuring that it was handled properly.
“Football has its own infrastructure to manage football affairs,” he remarked during a joint press conference with visiting football officials.
“In order to attract sponsors, this administration merely wants proper legislation, accountability, good governance, and openness from those who lead football.”
“We have made it quite apparent to both CAF and FIFA that Kenyan football is in shambles. “I believe FIFA and CAF will be mindful of Kenya’s unique position,” Namwamba remarked. “The suspension of (national team) Harambee Stars from the qualifications was due to a specific scenario.”
Kenya had been selected in Group C of the qualifiers, which began in August last year, alongside Burundi, Cameroon, and Namibia prior to the suspension.
CAF legal counsel Nadim Magdy, a member of the delegation, stated that the continent’s football governing body would meet “soon” to discuss Kenya’s plea.