CAS rules Kenya out of Women’s AFCON after last minute appeal

November 16 –  The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the Kenyan appeal to be re-admitted to the Women’s African Cup of Nations which starts in Ghana this weekend.

Kenya was awarded a place in the finals last month when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) excluded Equatorial Guinea for fielding an ineligible player in qualifying. But the governing body’s appeal board ruled differently, allowing the two-times champions to return to the competition, knocking Kenya out again.

The Football Kenya Federation registered an urgent appeal against the decision taken by CAF on November 7 in which they asked for the annulling of the challenged original decision and Kenya’s reinstatement to the competition.

A CAS statement said: “The CAF filed a written reply submission and earlier today, the President of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division issued an Order on Provisional Measures rejecting FKF’s request for provisional measures.”

The decision is a blow to the Kenyans who felt had continued to keep their team in camp despite the CAF last-minute decision to readmit Equatorial Guinea after their appeal.

“They included us in the draw and in the fixtures, so we prepared our team,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa told the BBC. “For them to make a decision nine or 10 days to the event, is why we are in the problem we are in. If they came back to us one month ago, then we would have had enough time – but they did not.”

Mwendwa, confirmed, prior to the CAS decision that they would seek a financial settlement of they lost their appeal.

“If the court says we’re out – then we have no recourse – but I can tell you we will pursue compensation if that happens.

“But it’s not just about money, there is a lot at stake. I need our argument understood. We are saying that in terms of procedure, CAF did not inform us when an appeal was filed by Equatorial Guinea, and therefore we did not defend ourselves at the appeals committee. They went ahead and gave us fixtures which caused the whole country to prepare – not just the team but the whole country. So we’re saying it’s unfair for them to remove us at this stage.”

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