Kenya and Zimbabwe excluded from Africa Cup of Nations over government interference

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Kenya and Zimbabwe, whose federations are suspended by FIFA due to government interference, will not compete in the next African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2023 in Côte d’Ivoire, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced.

“Kenya and Zimbabwe have not yet met the criteria required by FIFA as essential for the suspension to be lifted,” CAF said in a statement published on Monday night, in which it explains that the two teams will be considered “losers and eliminated”. of the competition.

As a result, the groups in which the teams were classified in the qualifying phase for the tournament “will be composed of only three teams and the order of the games will be maintained according to the calendar”, adds the note.

The two federations were suspended on 24 February “with immediate effect, due to the undue influence of a third party”. To this end, FIFA president Gianni Infantino cited “government interference in the activities of the football federation”.

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The Kenyan government has placed the federation under guardianship after allegations of embezzlement against its president, Nick Mwenda. In Zimbabwe, the federation’s leaders were also removed for financial irregularities by a sports institution dependent on the government.

The qualifying round of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations starts on 1 June this year.