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FIFA: Kenya Ban Lifted

Kenya's Boniface Muchiri (2nd L) vies for the ball with Mali's Adama Traore (2nd R) during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between Kenya and Mali at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on October 10, 2021.

FIFA has lifted a ban on Kenya's national football federation, following the government's decision to reinstate the body after disbanding it over corruption allegations, the country's sports minister said Monday.

"I would like to express my delight for Kenya to return back to international football," Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba said, announcing the lifting of the ban in Nairobi Monday.

"I am happy that FIFA has made it clear that certain issues of integrity, accountability and good governance in football will be sorted out and investigations into judicial matters remain alive," he added.

Namwamba told reporters he had met with FIFA officials in Qatar to review Kenya's suspension.

A letter from FIFA, that was dated Monday and seen by AFP, said it had "decided on 25 November 2022 to lift the suspension of the FKF with immediate effect."

In February, football's world governing body suspended the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), citing government interference after the authorities shut down the organization last year over graft allegations.

Earlier this month, Namwamba announced that the federation would be reinstated but warned its former chief, who is facing corruption charges, against returning to the FKF until his case was concluded.

The FKF was disbanded last November after an investigation into its finances revealed it had failed to account for funds received from the government and other sponsors.

It's then chief Nick Mwendwa was also arrested the same month after the government set up a caretaker committee to run football and look into the alleged financial impropriety during his tenure.

That case was dismissed over lack of evidence, but Mwendwa was re-arrested in July this year on fresh charges of misappropriating 38 million shillings ($312,000).

Kenya was barred from hosting or playing in any international matches under the FIFA ban.