Shame as Kenya Under-20 disqualified from Cup of Nations qualifiers

Kenya Under-20 national team coach John Kamau gives instructions from the touchline during a past match. PHOTO | FILE |

What you need to know:

  • Caf made the decision following a complaint filed by the Sudan Football Federation (SFA) against Kenya for allegedly fielding five ineligible players during last month’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations qualifier.
  • FKF CEO Robert Muthomi stated that the federation will not appeal the decision.

The Confederation of African Football yesterday disqualified the Kenya Under-20 team from the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Caf made the decision following a complaint filed by the Sudan Football Federation (SFA) against Kenya for allegedly fielding five ineligible players during last month’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations qualifier.

The Sudanese played under protest in the match that ended in a one-all draw at the Al Merreikh Stadium in Khartoum after Kenya fielded players who were born in 1996. SFA officials lodged the complaint a day after the match.

With the ruling, Kenya is automatically out of the competition with the return leg that was set for Saturday in Nairobi now scrapped out. Sudan will instead earn passage to the second round. A total of eight teams will play in the finals to be hosted by Zambia next year.

Football Kenya Federation on Tuesday remained tight-lipped on the matter with the federation chief, Nick Mwendwa saying that they’ll issue a statement on the same.

FKF CEO Robert Muthomi stated that the federation will not appeal the decision. “The federation is cognizant that the governing body is a fair arbiter for all federations and therefore the decision it has taken has recognized all the steps and future ramifications," said Muthomi.

“Cut off dates for age restricted tournaments are dynamic regulations. It is important to note that non-eligibility is not the same as age cheating.”

However, National Executive Committee member, Chris Amimo, who chairs the federation’s youth committee said: “I’ve just been informed of the same (the disqualification) but I haven’t seen the communication. It’s only after I’ve read through it that I’ll be able to give my views.”

Tuesday’s decision by Caf mirrors a similar one they took in 2003, when they banned Kenya for two years for fielding overage players in the Under-17 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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