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Kimanzi quashes Stars friendlies talk

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NAIROBI, Kenya, January 6 – Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has called for an end to speculation surrounding reported high profile friendlies ahead of their 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Togo next month.

Speaking to Capital Sport on Friday, Kimanzi said the Technical Committee at Football Kenya Limited (FKF) that he is part of was yet to meet and chart a programme for the team.

“I’m also reading these reports from the press like everyone else. As far as I am concerned, it is the Technical Committee that should be the source of information on issues affecting the team,” he said.

It has been reported that Stars are lined up for a game against 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers Senegal on January 14 before facing Egypt on February 24.

The second friendly comes just four days before Stars are to welcome Togo to Nairobi for the first leg of their knock-out clash before the return leg on June 15 in Lome where the aggregate winner will book a place in the second qualifying round in September/October.

The coach fell just short of blasting the federation for the manner in which details and plans for the team are being released to the media.

“As a coach, my duty is to suggest options that the federation explores before a decision of which team we will play is decided. I urge FKF to put the necessary structures in place to ensure that information regarding the team.

“I have no idea who planned this matches and everyone should wait until official announcement is made. FKF have a media liaison officer and they should make proper use of him,” Kimanzi added.

“These rumours started in December and as far as I know, they remain as such, the reports have no basis and are misleading,” he charged.

The head coach who took charge of the side in November for a second stint at the helm led the side to book their place in the 2014 World Cup Africa qualifiers before his side crashed out in the group stages of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

On Togo preparations, Kimanzi said, “The players are already preparing by training with their clubs for those here and the foreign contingent are playing in their leagues. Details on when to assemble to camp will be released in time.”

Kenya last featured in the continental showpiece in Tunisia 2004 where they made history by winning their first ever match, a 3-0 win over Burkina Faso but having lost their opening encounters to Mali and Senegal, Stars crashed out in the group stage.

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