Culture & Sport

Zimbabwe and Kenya suspended by FIFA because of government interference

FIFA suspended Zimbabwe and Kenya because of government interference with the national football bodies.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on February 24 that Zimbabwe and Kenya are suspended from international competitions.

The international governing body for football (soccer) justified the decision because of government interference in the running of their national football bodies.

As a result of the bans, Zimbabwe and Kenya national teams and clubs can't play in any international competitions. Funds from FIFA are also cut off.

The government of Zimbabwe via its Sports and Recreation Commission refused to give up control of the Zimbabwe Football Association and the federation's leadership. Zimbabwe removed ZIFA officials from office in November on allegations of corruption and sexual harassment. The world football body ordered Zimbabwe to reinstate its football officials in early January.

However, it delayed any actions, which allowed the men's national team to compete at the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January and February. Zimbabwe, the 121th best team in the FIFA ranking, finished last of its 4-team group stage.

Kenya was banned after its sports ministry also removed the football federation's leaders and accused them of corruption. Kenyan football president Nick Mwendwa is facing criminal charges.

Kenya's women's national team was already thrown out the qualifying competition for the African Cup of Nations because of the crisis at the federation.

The bans on the two African nations will be lifted if their governments allow the federations to operate normally again.

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