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Kenya soccer in financial mess

Nairobi: Kenya has frozen the bank account of the country’s football federation after the governing body failed to pay 800,000 shillings ($10,600) in taxes, government officials said on Tuesday.

It is the latest twist in a row between Kenyan Football Federation (KFF) officials and the Minister for Sport Najib Balala, who last week urged KFF officials to quit and pave the way for fresh elections.

The minister was reacting to KFF acting secretary general Allan Chenane, who said the federation cannot adequately prepare the national team for next January’s African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia because they do not have enough money.

“We have sent several reminders for them to clear the outstanding amount but they did not respond. We thus froze their account on Monday,” Fatuma Yusuf, the Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) spokesman said.

“All they have to do is comply with the taxation regulations and we shall give the order for them to (be able to) operate their accounts,” said Yusuf.

The government froze the KFF’s bank account last May, but it was opened after an agreement with the KRA that the federation would make monthly payments.

KFF treasurer Mohamed Hatimy said he was unaware of the freezing of their accounts, adding that the KFF had already paid 471,000 shillings.

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