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Kenya women hope FIFA can save WC "dream" after FA pulls them from qualifier

Kenyan women's football team training at Kasarani stadium   -  
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AP Photo


The Kenya women's football team are praying that FIFA can save their dream of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup after they were suddenly withdrawn from a key qualifier by their own football federation last week.

Speaking to SNTV after a training session in the country's capital on Wednesday, "The Harambee Starlets" expressed hope that they may still be able to travel to Uganda for their crucial African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier match, scheduled for 17th February.

In October, Kenya beat South Sudan 15-1 on aggregate in their first qualifier and a win over Uganda would see them progress to July's AWCON in Morocco.

The top four teams in the continental tournament then qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

A letter written by an official from the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last week claimed the women's team had withdrawn and, therefore, forfeited the tie.

But sports minister Amina Mohamed said no such request was authorised and claimed that the letter could be fraudulent.

In November, Mohamed disbanded the FKF over corruption allegations and appointed a caretaker committee to oversee the sport in Kenya for a period of six months.

The FKF's suspended chief was later charged with corruption, accused of embezzling millions of Kenyan shillings.

On Saturday the committee chairman, Justice Aaron Ringera, told CAF that Kenya had not withdrawn and it was trying to resolve the confusion "as a matter of urgency" and this was followed by a morale-boosting visit to the players' training camp by the committee on Wednesday.

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