The FIFA Ethics Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Sebastian Coe (England), today announced its decision to ban three former Kenyan officials from taking part in any football-related activity for unethical behaviour and bribery as a result of their involvement in the irregularities surrounding the selection of Kenyan referees and assistant referees for the 2007 FIFA List of International Referees (cf. also media release of 18 December 2007).

Former General Secretary of the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) Daniel Omino and former chairman of the Kenya Football Referees Association Wycliffe Ogutu each received five-year bans while former treasurer of the Kenya Football Referees Association Samson Kawa received a two-year ban. In addition, Alfred Ndinya, the most senior listed FIFA referee from Kenya, was warned about his future conduct on account of his marginal involvement in this case.

Allegations of irregularities surrounding the KFF's nominees for the 2007 FIFA List of International Referees surfaced in the last quarter of 2006, thus resulting in the suspension of the list of nominees and the launch of FIFA's investigation.

The investigation determined that the KFF had summoned an unusually large number of candidates to the annual selection process for nominees to the FIFA International List of Referees and, against FIFA policy, required them to pay in order to participate. Furthermore, money was allegedly demanded to be included in the final list and some of the final nominees did not meet the technical requirements as stated in the regulations governing the registration of international referees and assistant referees.

At its 18 December 2007 plenary meeting, the Ethics Committee reviewed the facts of the case, confirmed its jurisdiction and subsequently found each of the former Kenyan officials guilty of infringing Article 3 and Article 12 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (unethical behaviour and bribery), thus resulting in the sanctions outlined above.