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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Kenya accuses KFF and Fifa
Kenya's Sports Minister Najib Balala
Kenya's Sports Minister Najib Balala blames Fifa
Kenya's Sports Minister Najib Balala has said that Fifa and the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) are to blame for the problems in the sport in the country.

Fifa slapped an indefinite suspension on Kenya on Wednesday because of alleged government interference in the affairs of the KFF.

Despite the sanction Balala insisted he would stick to his timetable of restoring order to Kenyan football, even though Fifa rejects all government intervention in KFF affairs.

"It's a sad day for Kenya, the KFF and Fifa are jointly to blame, they're not helping football in this country," an angry Balala said.

"There's no justification in taking this decision when they have blatantly refused to listen to our part of the story.

While Fifa has called for all three parties to talk to resolve the crisis, Balala said, he had instructed the transitional committee to speed up the transformation process before fresh elections are held at the end of June.

Kenya's football team
Kenya's football team have been banned indefinitely by Fifa

He said he had instructed the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) unit to arrest and prosecute the suspended officials for their role in the mismanagement of football in the country.

Meanwhile the KFF's secretary general Hussein Swaleh however is angry that he has not given a chance to put his side of the story.

"Someone shouldn't condemn you without giving you a chance to defend yourself," he said.

"Give the auditors chance to check the books and they can make their recommendations and then you bring in the police."

It's up to Balala now to decide if we're able to clean our house
KFF secretary general, Hussein Swaleh

He also pointed out that it was the government who put a stop to KFF elections.

"We were calling for elections but after seeing that we were going to be re-elected, Balala removed us by force.

"Why didn't the government look for the ways for us to be removed by the ballot box?" he asked.

Swaleh put the ball firmly in Balala's court about how things can move forward.

"It's up to Balala now to decide if we're able to clean our house, if we are able to agree with the government the way forward then we can appeal and leave it for Fifa to decide.

"We're under Fifa and we must respect their regulations but Balala doesn't even respect Blatter."

The Fifa ban affects the country's national team and clubs which will not be allowed to take part in any international tournament.

Meanwhile Guinea, who were due to play Kenya in a 2006 World Cup qualifier on Saturday, left for home Wednesday night following the ban.

Before their departure, Guinea team officials expressed sympathy with Kenya's plight having suffered an identical punishment themselves for two years in 2000.

Fifa say that they will meet again to discuss what they will do concerning the rest of the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign.


SEE ALSO
Fifa bans Kenya
02 Jun 04  |  African
Kenya face World Cup ban
19 May 04  |  African
Kenya risk World Cup sanction
28 May 04  |  African
Fifa backs ousted Kenya federation
07 May 04  |  African
Fifa envoys leave Kenya
11 Apr 04  |  African



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