Kenya women’s soccer team loses Cup of Nations appeal case

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Kenya women’s soccer team failed Friday in a bid to be reinstated in the African Cup of Nations that kicks off next month with a legal technicality cited.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict also ensured Kenya cannot advance to the 2023 Women’s World Cup because the African championship is a qualifying event to the FIFA tournament.

The Kenya team was withdrawn by its soccer federation in January ahead of a Cup of Nations qualifying playoff against Uganda, which was accepted in the finals tournament by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The Kenya players appealed to CAS to order the two-leg series against Uganda played before the 12-nation tournament starts July 2 in Morocco.

CAS said its judge ruled he had jurisdiction to review only the first decision in Kenya — which was overturned — but not the second by the continental governing body.

“The appeal was directed against the (Kenyan federation) decision only,” the court said in a statement. “Since no appeal has been filed against the CAF decision to qualify Uganda to the next qualifying round, the CAS could not review it.”

During the CAS appeal process, FIFA also suspended Kenya from international soccer for alleged interference by the government in the federation’s business.

The government has alleged financial wrongdoing at Kenyan soccer and FIFA intervened to support elected officials.

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