by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE suspension of Kenya and Zimbabwe is a stern reminder of the Federation of International Football Association’s (FIFA) unyielding stance on government interference in the sport.
FIFA disclose the suspension late on Thursday, adding this was without prejudice to any investigations by national authorities or other judicial bodies.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) are suspended with immediate effect due to “undue interference by a third party.”
The suspension means national teams and clubs from the respective countries cannot participate in international matches.
Kenya’s problems date back to November last year when government disbanded KFK for alleged mismanagement of funds.
Nick Mwenda led the now-disbanded board.
Also in November, the Zimbabwe Sports and Recreation Commission suspended the ZIFA board for alleged misuse of public funds and reported sexual abuse of female match officials.
Zimbabwe’s football has thus hit an all-time low, coming months after the main venue, the dilapidated National Sports Stadium was banned.
FIFA frowns upon meddling, which as an issue in Africa where associations largely depend on government funding.
Article 17 of the FIFA Regulations stipulates: “Each member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.”
Meanwhile, FIFA condemned the use of force by Russia in Ukraine and any type of violence to resolve conflicts.
“Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to restore peace through constructive dialogue. FIFA also continues to express our solidarity to the people affected by this conflict.”
FIFA stated it would continue to monitor the situation and updates in relation to the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers.
– CAJ News