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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 12:26 GMT
Fifa lifts ban on Kenya
Fifa headquarters
Fifa's Emergency Committee met to discuss Kenya on Friday morning

Kenya's international ban from world football ended on Friday as Fifa's Emergency Committee lifted the suspension imposed last October.

The decision, which was recommended by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and requested by Mohamed Hatimy, the interim president of the Kenya Football Federation (KFF), was made possible by recent developments.

These included last month's visit to Nairobi by a Caf delegation.

The lifting of the suspension means that Kenya's Nations Cup clash at home to Group 6 rivals Swaziland on 23-25 March can now go ahead.

The two-man Caf visit to the Kenyan capital late last month enabled the suspension to be lifted after a number of sticking points were cleared.

These included a declaration from sports minister Maina Kamanda not to interfere in the running of the KFF.

It was also agreed that the 28 points agreed with Fifa by the KFF and the Kenyan government at a meeting in Cairo in January 2006 would be respected.

Furthermore, former KFF officials agreed to withdraw ongoing legal proceedings against the Kenyan administration while it was also agreed that Hatimy would run the KFF on an interim basis.

"Hatimy sent an emotional letter to (Fifa chief) Sepp Blatter on behalf of all Kenyan players, fans and everyone saying 'please help us'," Jerome Champagne, Fifa's delegate to the president, told BBC Sport.

"Kenyan football has suffered enough."

A Fifa delegation will visit Nairobi next Wednesday for three days with a view to implementing a road map for the immediate relaunch of Kenyan football.

Chief amongst the new measures will be the creation of an 18-team elite league.

One of the reasons for Kenya's ban was the presence of two separate leagues within the country, which directly opposed Fifa's desires.

Fifa had wanted the Kenya Premier League to run an 18-team league but instead the KFF set up its own 20-club league - with both farcically competing on the same weekend.

The KFF will also be expected to complete new headquarters and a technical centre as part of Fifa's Goal project.

Fifa is also keen to see the introduction of a transparent financial management system as well as the laying down of an artificial turf pitch somewhere in the nation.

The KFF was suspended last October for failing to respect signed agreements to resolve continuing problems within the federation.

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