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Kenya and Zimbabwe kicked out of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

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Kenya and Zimbabwe kicked out of 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

The Harambee Stars and Warriors will be absent from the 34th biennial African football showpiece slated for Cote d’Ivoire

Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African football has confirmed.

Although the race for Cote d’Ivoire commences in June, the Harambee Stars and Warriors are unable to take part because Fifa’s ban on them has not been lifted.

The East and Southern African countries had been included in the draw for the African football showpiece on the condition that their suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match.

“As a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by Fifa set aside, Caf has confirmed that both Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers,” a statement on the Caf website read.

“The qualifiers will kick off on the first day of June 2022. 

“Caf had included them in the official draw earlier in April 2022 on the condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first match day. 

“Kenya and Zimbabwe, suspended for political interference, have not yet met the criteria required by the Fifa congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.”

Kenya’s suspension was ratified during Fifa’s 72nd congress held on March 31, 2022, in Doha, Qatar.

198 members voted to support the sanction of the decision by the global football governing body, while only one voted against the motion.

“The Fifa council suspended Kenya on February 24th with immediate effect due to third party interference, in particular, the takeover of football by a caretaker committee appointed by the government, which is a serious violation of the Fifa statutes,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino had announced.

“It is therefore recommended that the congress confirm the suspension of the Football Kenya Federation, enabling the council to lift the suspension immediately and as soon as the pertinent requirements have been fulfilled.”

With this development, Kenya’s former Group C will now boast Cameroon, Namibia and Burundi, with the top two teams qualifying for the championship.

In the same vein, Zimbabwe’s former Group K will now parade Morocco, South Africa and Liberia.

What are the groups for Afcon 2023 Qualifiers?

Group A

Group B

Nigeria

Burkina Faso

Sierra Leone

Cape Verde

Guinea Bissau

Togo

Sao Tome & Principe

Eswatini

Group C

Group D

Cameroon

Egypt

Guinea

Namibia

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