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CAS rejects FKF’s Starlets AWCON appeal

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Harambee Starlets players line up before their game against Equatorial Guinea at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has rejected Football Kenya federation’s appeal over the inclusion of Equatorial Guinea back into the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) at their expense.

According to the federation, CAS wrote to them Friday morning informing them of the decision, but the federation through its communication chief Barry Otieno says they will still pursue the case.

“The final decision by the President of the Appeals Division was to unfortunately reject our application for provisional measures, and we fully understand and respect the decision of the CAS,” FKF said in its statement.

The Federation had sought provisional measures over CAF to incorporate Kenya into the Cup of Nations which begins on Saturday in Ghana or failing to this, injunct and suspend the entire tournament until a rightful decision has been made.

But the prayers were thrown out by the Swiss based court meaning Equatorial Guinea’s participation in the Cup of Nations remains valid.

“Our appeal against CAF is still open, and we will continue to fight for justice to be done in some way, to repair the harm that has been caused to our Starlets, and the people of our nation. We will continue to fight at CAS in order to demonstrate that we as a federation will not sit back and simply accept routine and blatant regulatory breaches that impact the progression of our teams, national or otherwise,” further stated the stern worded statement from Kandanda House.

It is a huge heartbreak for Starlets who had already gone into camp for the tournament and had also played a friendly match against Ghana’s Black Queens in readiness for their second appearance at the tournament.

FKF had moved to the Arbitration court to protest Equatorial Guinea’s inclusion in the tournament by the CAF Appeals Board with the regional body’s disciplinary board having suspended them for fielding an ineligible player in the two-legged qualifier against Kenya.

However, the West Africans still remain suspended by FIFA over the same wrongdoing and even if they finish in the top three at the AWCON, they will not qualify for next year’s World Cup in France.

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