Kenya football governing body (FKF) has said it will not appeal the decision by the Confederation of African Football Confederation (CAF) to disqualify its national Under-20 team from the Under-20 Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
FKF CEO Robert Muthomi, who made this known in a statement, said “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. 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.”
CAF had on Tuesday, kicked Kenya out of the under-20 World Cup qualifying competition for the 2017 finals in South Korea for fielding five over age players. CAF however said the decision can be contested before CAF Appeal Board within three days of notification.
CAF’s decision came after Sudan had lodged a complaint that Kenya fielded five ineligible players during their first-leg of the preliminary round against Sudan played on Sunday, 3 April 2016 in Khartoum which ended 1-1.
The Organizing Committee after its findings concluded that the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) clearly violated article 40.11 of the competition regulations which states: ‘a team which allows a non-qualified or a suspended player to take part in a direct knock-out match shall lose the match and shall be eliminated from the competition, even in the absence of protests.’
Kenya football governing body insists that the said players were cleared by the match commissioner who ruled that players born in 1996 were eligible to play, hence the continuation of the match.
The ineligible players fielded are: Erick Ouma Otieno, born on 27/9/1996; Nicholas Kipkirui, born on 31/5/1996; Boniface Muchiri, born on 23/8/1996; Eugene Moses Mukangula, born on 22/6/1996 and Theodore Kibet Kilele, born on 25/9/1996.
The Eastern country were supposed to host the return leg this weekend but CAF has instead awarded Sudan a place in the next round of the competition for places at the 2017 finals in Zambia.