The world’s football governing body FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Kenya for playing unsanctioned international matches during the 2015 Council for East and Central Africa Association (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
In a letter to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on February 15th, FIFA’s Deputy Secretary to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee Audrey Cech pointed out that since CAF, the continental football body did receive the hosting form or the participating forms of any of the participating teams, it “appears” that the matches were never authorized by FIFA.
“We refer to the information received according to which the Football Kenya Federation participated in several tier 1 international matches, which took place on the territory of the Ethiopian Football Federation in the scope of the 38th edition of the CECAFA Challenge Cup between 21 November 2015 and 6 December 2015. It appears that such matches were never authorized by FIFA,” the letter reads in part.
The case has been referred to the next meeting of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to be held on the 15 March 2017, which will analyse the case with regard to a possible violation of its laws.
According to article 7 part 2 of the FIFA regulations governing international matches, “All tier 1 international matches must be authorized by FIFA and the confederation (s) and Members concerned.”
Further, article 6 part 3 of the same laws requires that, “Every team participating in an international match shall be responsible for requesting the authorization of the member to which they belong.”
In defense of hosts Ethiopia and all the 11 other teams including Kenya, Hicham El Amrani, the CAF Secretary responded to FIFA in a letter dated 16 June 2016, explaining that as part of their usual working relationship with zonal unions, they only need to be informed of such competitions, and that no specific authorization is needed from them.
“Such information relayed to CAF does not require from us specific authorization since each zonal union does present at the annual CAF General Assembly their activity report as well as the scheduled tournaments to come. Once these reports are adopted by the members of CAF the competitions are hence approved to go ahead,” the letter states.
It is still not confirmed whether the rest of the CECAFA members will also face a similar disciplinary action.
FKF has pledged to continue cooperating with the world football governing and to abide by its statutes even as they strive to restore sanity to the Kenyan game.
“The federation wishes to state that it remain committed to working closely with both FIFA and CAF and commits to being cooperative throughout the disciplinary case, this even as it strives to restore sanity to Kenyan football.”
Kenya was pooled in group “B” alongside neighbors Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti during the tournament.