Kenya stay guessing after FIFA indecision on S Leone
As to whether Kenya has already secured its ticket for the 2019 African Cup of Nations Finals in Cameroon remains speculative after FIFA failed to make a definitive decision on the fate of Sierra Leone.
Kenya tops Group F of the AFCON Qualifiers with seven points but the conundrum that is the suspension of Sierra Leone means a ticket back to the continental showpiece is not yet guaranteed.
A tripartite meeting featuring delegates from the Sierra Leone Government, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and officials from FIFA agreed to wait until the completion of cases against SLFA officials.
“FIFA recognises that there is an ongoing trial by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone against the SLFA President, Isha Johansen, and the SLFA General Secretary, Christopher Kamara.
“In that regard, FIFA will wait for the completion of the trial before further measures can be considered, including the lifting of the suspension by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, if deemed appropriate,” FIFA said in a statement.
The SLFA president Johansen and GS Kamara have been removed from their positions following allegations of match-fixing involving the national team although both deny any wrongdoing.
“The Government of Sierra Leone agreed to investigate the unauthorised withdrawal of funds from the SLFA’s dedicated FIFA Forward bank account following the suspension of the SLFA,” FIFA said following the meeting held in its Zurich headquarters.
Sierra Leone’s suspension forced the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to cancel their scheduled against Ghana in Kumasi last Thursday (October 11) and then again in Freetown on Monday (October 15).
Reuters reported that a CAF spokesman said the continental governing body would not allow the matches to be played later, even if Sierra Leone’s ban was lifted.
But it would delay deciding whether to award Ghana a 3-0 victory in each match or disqualify Sierra Leone, in which case their results would be expunged and three teams would be left in the group, with the top two finishers advancing to next year’s finals.
Such a scenario would mean Ethiopia’s win over the West African state in September is nullified, leaving them with only one point and just one match left against Ghana rendering it mathematically unable to bridge the gap on Kenya.