KENYA DISQUALIFIED !
Kenya disqualified from Cecafa Cup.
By Eric Odanga BBC Sport, Nairobi.
Cecafa secretary-general Musonye says Kenya must stay away. East and Central Africa's football ruling body, Cecafa, has disqualified Kenya from the 2005 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kigali, Rwanda. This follows a boycott by the Harambee Stars who refused to travel on Friday for the tournament until outstanding allowances are paid. The decision to disqualify Kenya was taken at the General Assembly meeting of the organisation on Saturday.
Nicholas Musonye, the Cecafa secretary-general, told BBC Sport that the Kenya Football Federation, KFF has been fined US$2,000 for the no show in Kigali. It had earlier been suggested that the Kenyans be suspended for two years from the competition for their actions.
According to Musonye, the Cecafa General Assembly has initially wanted the KFF to also repay US$15,000 being to cost incurred by the tournament's sponsor to purchase 35 air tickets for the team. "It is too late and Harambee Stars should not bother coming to Kigali because the fixtures have already been changed," Musonye added. As a Kenyan himself, Musonye termed Kenyan team's decision not to travel to Kigali as the "highest sabotage." "What else did they need if a chance to win the prize money was not enough motivation?" he added.
Reacting to Kenya's disqualification, Commissioner for Sports Gordon Oluoch said that Cecafa had taken a rash decision. "Cecafa relied on rumours to lock out the Harambee Stars. It was only yesterday that the team walked out." "Who told them Kenya could not raise a team? This was purely an internal matter?" he added.
Earlier, the government had ordered the national football team, the Harambee Stars to travel to Kigali for the tournament. Commissioner for Sports Gordon Oluoch told BBC Sport that the government had purchased plane tickets for the team to leave for Kigali on Monday afternoon.
Apart from Kenya's disqualification, Cecafa also re-dedicated the region's commitment to developing youth football. "Our aim is to get a team from this region to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and we will also support any country which bids for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, "the final communiqué said.
It also added that the Cecafa region will also encourage member countries to bid for the 2009 Under-19 or Under-17 African youth championships.