AWCON 2022: Uganda qualify without kicking a ball after Kenya mysteriously withdraws from qualifier

AWCON 2022: Uganda qualify without kicking a ball after Kenya mysteriously withdraws from qualifier

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM
  • Uganda Senior Women’s National Football Team, the Crested Cranes are set to play in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations following Kenya’s withdrawal
  • The Crested Cranes were supposed to face Kenya in the qualifiers in February 2022 in a two-legged fixture
  • But CAF issued a communication to FUFA stating that Kenya had withdrawn from the qualifiers

The Crested Cranes of Uganda have qualified for the 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations without having to kick a ball after the withdrawal of the Kenyan team.

Kenya and Uganda were set to clash for a chance to play in the continental spectacle, with the first leg scheduled to be played on February 17.

Uganda will possibly qualify without kicking a ball after Kenya mysteriously withdraws from the qualifier. Photo: FUFA.
Source: UGC

But the Federation of Uganda Football Associations on Friday, January 28, released a statement saying Uganda had qualified, citing a letter from CAF.

"Uganda senior women’s national football team, the Crested Cranes, will play at this year’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations following the withdrawal of Kenya," Fufa's statement read as quoted on GOAL.
"The Crested Cranes who entered camp this week were supposed to face Kenya in the last qualifying stage next month.
"It should be noted that the Crested Cranes were slated to face off with Harambee Starlets next month, with the first leg scheduled for February 17 and the return leg coming on February 23rd.

Reports suggest that Kenya withdrew from the qualifiers, which meant Uganda were handed a walkover and almost a free pass to the tournament which will take place in Morocco in August.

This will be the second time Uganda Women’s team features in the tournament, and it comes more than two decades after their first appearance in the year 2000.

What went wrong with Kenya?

At the moment, it remains unclear which Kenyan body reached out to CAF to withdraw from the women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

But on Saturday, a letter from Chief Executive Officer of the Football Kenya Federation seemed to shed more light on what went wrong.

The letter, dated January 30, seemed to suggest the withdrawal of the Harambee Starlets from the AWCON was down to Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed’s move to disband the federation in November 2021.

“In view of the above and taking into consideration the existing government directive, the federation is unable to independently plan and successfully execute any international matches, which include upcoming Kenya vs Uganda AWCON 2022 qualifier matches,” the statement from the FKF said.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and