After weeks of camp in France the Kenya national team, Harambee Stars enters the final stages of preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president, Nick Mwendwa has called on the team to repay the support offered throughout the preparation period.
On Saturday 15 June, the team will face DR Congo in Madrid in the final friendly match before heading to Egypt for the finals and heading to the game, Mwendwa has expressed his satisfaction with the preparations as Harambee Stars returns to the continental scene after 15 years of absence.
It is the first time the national team gets such support and the President hopes this is just the first of better tidings for the team and Kenyan football as a whole.
“We have been here (in Paris, France) for three weeks. We promised that we will do this and we have pulled all stops to get it done and I am very encouraged by the preparations the team has had.
“Everything is different, and the camp has exceeded my expectations and once we play DR Congo, I’ll say we have done the job to the details. We have given the coach and the players everything they ever asked for and more. This is unprecedented and it is now upon them to get the job done,” he said.
Mwendwa further revealed that all the monies promised to the players for camp in France have been paid in advance of the competition, and he thanked the Kenya government for stepping in greatly to ensure this happens.
“When we left Kenya, every player got 2500 Dollars and when the final team was named, and like we promised, we released 5000 Dollar to every player. So we have paid 7500 Dollars in allowances, in advance. We do not owe anyone and that is why you see the preparation is super and there are no talks about money.
“We thank the government for what they have done, and this is the time now to show the government that this is what we have been talking about and now the ball is in the players’ courts,” he added.
Two national teams
As the team heads to the finals, and regardless of the performance there, Mwendwa’s administration will have a place in the annals of history, for having seen two national teams qualify for the topmost competitions on the land.
In 2016, the federation saw the national Women’s team, Harambee Starlets secure their slot at the AWCON finals in Limbe, Cameroon and three years later, their male counterparts have replicated the same.