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Kenya faces FIFA suspension over internal row

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 May 2008

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Kenya faces imminent suspension after failing to meet the 72-hour deadline handed down by FIFA to break the deadlock between the two feuding bodies running the Kenya Football Federation (KFF), FIFA said on Thursday.

Kenyan Sports Minister Hellen Sambili has been meeting the two bodies separately since Tuesday but asked FIFA to give her more time after the talks collapsed.

But FIFA spokeswoman Adriana Pontieri said the Kenyan situation will be assessed on Friday to determine how to proceed with the matter which might involve preventing the country from playing its first 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Namibia in Windhoek on May 31.

“FIFA will be assessing the situation on Friday to determine how to proceed in this matter,” said Pontieri.

Earlier this week FIFA moved to tell the two KFF factions to put their house in order after a high court ruling in favour of the state-backed executive board which it does not recognize.

Kenya was previously suspended from international football in 2004 and 2006.

Later on Saturday, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga vowed to act without flouting FIFA rules that bar government interference in the sport.

“I have asked these gentlemen whether they think they are greater than this country,” Odinga told reporters.

“I have more or less read the riot act to them. We must find a solution to this problem without being seen to interfere.

“FIFA rules do not allow the government to interfere, so if we fail, we will pull-out and allow FIFA to handle the matter the way it wishes.”

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