Bukembe FC Manager Stanslaus Pamba has decried severe consequences that have befallen grassroots soccer after FIFA ban on Kenya.

The world football governing body, FIFA suspended Kenya from its organized competitions on February 24th 2022 after government’s interference with the Football Kenya Federation operations, disbanding the country’s FA on funds embezzlement allegations.

Lower division side Bukembe FC head coach Stanslaus Pamba. Photo/ Sports Africa

Kenya’s Sports Ministry went on to disband the National Executive Committee of FKF and put in place an interim Caretaker Committee to overseen football activities in the country, a move that FIFA was against.

In a letter to the disbanded federation’s secretary-general Barry Otieno, Fifa asked the government to: “repeal of the Cabinet Secretary’s decision of 11 November 2021 appointing the caretaker committee in lieu of the elected FKF Executive Committee.”

However, the government through Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed failed to comply with FIFA directives, attracting the wrath of the global soccer governing body thereafter.

“Without prejudice to any investigations by national authorities or other judicial bodies, the Fifa Council also decided to suspend the Football Kenya Federation and the Zimbabwe Football Association with immediate effect due to undue interference by a third party,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

The particular ban has left aspiring footballers, managers and officials in the country in limbo.

Consequently, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has also excluded Kenya from participating in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as well as Zimbabwe for interfering with their respective Football Associations’ operations.

“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,” CAF statement said on Monday.

Reacting to the latest development, youthful tactician Stanslaus Pamba has explained how grassroots football will be impacted with the FIFA ban on Kenya in place;

“Shift of focus. At the moment our federation is working on how it can comply with FIFA.The focus on how to strengthen our local leagues is lost.This is why we have been working under Caretaker Committee,” Pamba said.

“This Committe has failed to pay the referees putting the burden on teams thats why most teams have failed to honour match fixtures.eg Mathare united failed to honor matches due to finances while AFCand Gor missed a match each.”

Bukembe FC squad pose for a pre-match team photo.

“The ban lowered morale of our young players to play soccer of higher levels.Most young players in our country are full of enthusiasm of playing for the national team and even internationally. With the FIFA ban, the talents just rot in the villages and local clubs.”

Touching on the case of Kenyan football officials who were recently overlooked by FIFA ahead of the beckoning 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, he said;

“Limit to skill access. With the ban, our football officials cannot work beyond our borders neither can we hire officials from outside.With the dynamism in football, our young players need to learn new ideas and basics of modern football.This ban gets hard on us as a country to develop new coaching skills among others hence killing our local talents.” He concluded.

Meanwhile, the football status in Kenya is nowhere near good as a result of the particular costly FIFA on the country, so as Bukembe FC, a team playing in the lower division of FKF Division 2 League Western Zone A.

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