NAIROBI, October 16 – The second batch of Harambee Stars squad that was stranded in Conakry finally started their long journey home on Wednesday night.
The group left for Brussels where they connected a flight to Entebbe on Thursday. They will spend the night in the Ugandan town before jetting back home on Friday morning.
The government was forced into a change of plans after its efforts to get the players home via a Kenya Airways plane proved futile as it was unable to secure landing rights in Guinea.
The government had undertaken the costs of diverting the plane which was scheduled to fly to Freetown to pick up the team but could not land as one requires a 24 hour notice before touching down on Guinean soil.
It was then that the government decided to book them on a Brussels airline that was already in Conakry and they consequently left.
Travel arrangements have been a nightmare for the team due to unavailability of flights from the West African country.The first batch which consisted mostly European based players arrived on Wednesday morning.
The group in Brussels includes; Kenya Premier League chairman Bob Munro, three government officials, Titus Kasuve, Patrick Naggi, Gerald Chege, Bob Munro, Njoroge Gichinga, Wycliffe Makanga, three SuperSport officials, Francis Ouma, Duncan Ochieng, Edgar Ochieng, Osborne Monday, Lloyd Wahome and Joseph Shikokoti.
Stars lost their final group two 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Guinea 3-2 last weekend with Dennis Oliech’s brace coming a little too late for the Stars who had gone 3-0 down in the first hour.
Despite the loss, they finished second on ten points with their winning the group with 11 points but both teams qualified for the final phase of qualifiers set for next year.
The draw for the qualifiers will be held on October 22 with the twenty teams being divided into five groups of four teams each.
The top team in each group will thus qualify for the World Cup while the top three will make it for the Cup of Nations in Angola in January 2010.