'Harambee Stars will do well with early preparations'
03 January 2014, 11:00
Nairobi - Football lovers, disappointed by the country missing out
on yet another major continental event have urged the Football Kenya Federation FKF to begin preparations for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The calls come ahead of the African Nations Championship CHAN
in South Africa.
The tournament, where only locally-based footballers
participate, begins January 11 with Kenya conspicuous with their absence.
A total of 16 countries namely Libya, Morocco,
Mauritania, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Gabon, Congo DR,
Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique will
“For a country like Kenya to miss out on CHAN 2014 while
countries such as Burundi, which is ranked lower, go to South
Africa to represent East Africa is painful. While I wish both Burundi and
Uganda well for the tournament, I urge the local soccer federation to amend its
errors before 2015,” Morgan Mbandi, a local football fan said.
Rudolf Ngugi on the other hand said Burundi and Uganda deserved to be
representatives of East Africa at the expense of Kenya as they made adequate
“Burundi and Uganda qualified by merit, but Kenya fumbled with the preparations. We won the Council for East and Central Africa Football
Associations (CECAFA) in December, and it would have been better to round up
with a CHAN final in South Africa,” Ngugi said.
Mildred Wanyonyi said FKF should ensure that Kenyan
football clubs participating at the Africa club competitions were at their best
to avoid further embarrassment.
“We have done very well in athletics and rugby, but it is
in football where Kenya must challenge the so-called soccer power-houses of
African football. We cannot keep rebuilding the national team forever. We need
to consolidate the victories that we recorded at the just ended CECAFA so that
Kenya also becomes a force to reckon with in East Africa,” Wanyonyi said.
While they have done well in the CECAFA Cup, winning it six
times, Kenya are perennial underachievers in the continent.
They last qualified for the Africa Cup of Nation in 2004
but did not go beyond the first round.
- CAJ News