NAIROBI, September 12 – The government on Friday announced an Sh8.2 million sponsorship package for the national football team, Harambee Stars in their campaign to qualify for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations.,
Under the package, each of the 18 players in the squad will receive Sh30,000 for their exploits against Namibia’s Brave Warriors last weekend which the Stars 1-0 in front of a packed Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Head coach Francis Kimanzi will receive Sh70,000 while each of the four member technical bench will get Sh50,000, all totaling Sh810,000.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Kinuthia Murugu said that preparations for the Stars trip to Guinea are in full swing with Sh5 million set aside for air tickets.
Eight hundred and ten thousand will be used to purchase air tickets for foreign based players and to accommodate the team at Kasarani.
A further Sh810,000 will be set aside to reward the team if they manage a win or draw in Guinea.
Murugu added that the government is committed to ensuring that the team receives the necessary support as they make the “heroic attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations”.
“Like all Kenyans, we are very proud of their achievements so far and have little doubt that they will qualify for both events,” said the permanent secretary said in a letter addressed to Kenya Football Federation (KFF) secretary-general Sammy Obingo and Kenya Premier League (KPL) Managing Director Gerald Chege.
Kimanzi commended the gesture saying it would go a long way in lifting the team’s morale.
"We are all have to put in effort to make the team to do well this move by the government will definitely go a long way in driving our gola for 2010," he said.
Kenya are currently top of Group 2 with 10 points after five matches above Guinea who have eight.
Stars are guaranteed a place in the next round of the qualifiers irrespective of what happens in Conakry on October 12th.
Zimbabwe and Namibia make up the rest of the group and have six and three points respectively.
Kenya started its campaign with 2-1 reverse against Namibia before stunning Guinea 2-0 in June at the Nyayo National stadium courtesy of a Dennis Oliech brace. Another 2-0 win over Zimbabwe and a barren draw in Harare a week later put the Stars firmly in the driving seat.
Winners of the 12 groups automatically go through together with eight best second-placed teams.