Kenya reinstates scandal-hit national football body

Kenya on Friday reinstated its national football federation a year after disbanding it over corruption allegations but said its former chief could not return to work until legal proceedings against him are completed.

The Football Kenya Federation (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.

On Friday, the country’s new Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba announced that the federation would be reinstated but warned Nick Mwendwa, who is facing corruption charges, against returning to the FKF until his case was concluded.

Mwendwa was first arrested last November after the government set up a caretaker committee to run football over the alleged financial impropriety during his tenure.

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

Following his ouster and the disbanding of the FKF, Kenya was suspended by football’s world governing body FIFA in February over government interference in the running of the sport.

It was not immediately clear if FIFA would lift its ban, but FKF secretary Barry Otieno said in a statement Friday that they had written to the world body to inform them of their “full and unconditional control” of the sport after the government’s directive.

“We are therefore, pleased to confirm that the government has fulfilled conditions set out by the Fifa council, as part of the ongoing efforts by the government to allow Kenya’s return to international football,” Otieno said.

Kenya cannot host or play in any international matches under the FIFA ban.

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