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CECAFA countries in trouble with FIFA over 2015 edition

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CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye addresses the media in a past event PHOTO/Timothy olobulu.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The 12 countries that participated in the 2015 edition of the Council of East and Central Africa (CECAFA) Senior Challenge in Ethiopia could be in trouble with the world governing body FIFA as it appears the tournament was not sanctioned as per regulation.

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has already received a letter from FIFA informing them that disciplinary actions have been opened against the Federation. Capital Sport has also learnt that other CECAFA members have also received a similar letter.

Efforts to reach the CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye were futile as his calls went unanswered.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee is scheduled to meet on March 15 where they will analyze the matter with regard to a possible violation of regulations and decide on a possible imposition of sanctions.

According to FIFA, they never received any notification from CECAFA nor the participating countries over the tournament in Ethiopia which had been initially set for Rwanda.

In a letter written to FIFA from CAF in May last year, the continental governing body said it did not receive any hosting form from Ethiopia or any participating form from the other 12 countries, but goes on to state in a second letter dated June 16, 2016 such is never needed for regional competitions.

It also added that CECAFA notified them of the competition and they (CAF) took note of it. CECAFA indeed wrote a letter to the CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani on November 11, 2015 informing them of the competition and the venue had been changed to Ethiopia from Rwanda.

Two female Walia Ibex fans roar their team to victory during their Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup quarterfinal clash against Tanzania on Monday, November 30, 2015 at Addis Ababa International Stadium. PHOTO/SportPicha

The FIFA International Matches Approval (FIMA) had written to the Ethiopian federation (EFF) on November 12 about the tournament, asking for the international match forms to be filled, something that was not done probably as an oversight.

FIFA however insist that any international match involving the national ‘A’ team must be approved from their end, something that was not done.

“It is normal procedure from FIFA that there is a form each country has to fill and send back whenever they are going to play an international match. It is very clear that the same was not done at that time,” FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi told Capital Sport.

According to Article 10, paragraph one of the FIFA statutes, “Members whose A representative team will participate in an international A match as well as a member on whose territory an International A match is planned shall request the authorization of the Confederation to which they are affiliated at least 21 days before the earliest of the proposed dates for such match.”

“When received, the member shall pass the relevant authorizations to the member on whose territory the international ‘A’ match is planned. All requests for authorization to host or participate in an international ‘A’ match shall be the official FIFA forms as set forth in Appendix C.”

It also further adds that every team is responsible for getting their own authorization for international ‘A’ matches.

The FIFA proceedings will be undertaken barely 24 hours before CAF goes into elections at the General Assembly in Addis Ababa on March 16.

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