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By ESPN Staff
Jan 5, 2007

FIFA and Kenya plan to meet to restore relations

NAIROBI, Jan 5 (Reuters) - FIFA and Kenyan authorities plan to meet later this month in a bid to restore the east African country's troubled soccer federation to international competition, officials said on Friday.

'A meeting is indeed planned. The details relating to it will be discussed by the KFF (Kenya Football Federation) executive committee due to meet on Saturday Jan. 6,' FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said in an e-mail from Zurich.

Kenya was suspended from international competition last October for failing to respect agreements and for protracted problems in the federation.

'Lifting the suspension is the number one item on the agenda because no meaningful discussion relating to Kenyan soccer can take place while we remain suspended,' said acting chairman of the KFF Mohamed Hatimy.

'We have up to 20 applications for international transfers which can't be effected while we remain suspended from international competition.

'This is a great injustice to players seeking to play abroad and those who want to showcase their talent,' Hatimy added.

'Our referees have been locked out of a regional competition to be held in Tanzania this month. The damage (to our soccer) is phenomenal.'

The Kenyan government responded to the FIFA suspension by dissolving the federation on Nov. 3

KFF officials got court orders reinstating them to office although Minister for Sport Maina Kamanda filed a defence.

The case is still pending and the government does not recognise the Hatimy group.

The confusion is compounded by the KFF suspending former chairman Alfred Sambu and secretary general Dan Omino. Both are contesting their suspensions in court.