NAIROBI, Kenya, October 5 – Harambee Stars will be making their appearance in Tunisia after all after the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports released Sh4.5 million for the trip.Sunday’s World Cup qualifier had been cast in doubt as the touring party had not received the funds in time ahead of their departure which was already scheduled for Monday but will now take place on Tuesday.
“The ministry is going to pay for the required 25 people as per FIFA regulations. We will pay a total of Sh4.5 million for air tickets, accommodation and allowances,” said sports minister Professor Hellen Sambili.
Reports that appeared in a section of the press over the weekend indicated that the Ministry had frozen releasing any funds for the North African sojourn until Football Kenya Limited (FKL) accounted for money it had received from various quarters including French television company Sport Five who bought the rights for the Kenya versus Tunisia match back in match.
Kenya risked a FIFA ban if the national team failed to make it to North Africa.
“I want to clarify that this ministry has continued to support this team (Stars) and will continue to support the team. However, we want FKL to submit to us more information about the money they receive,” said Sambili.
Sambili queried the status of the Harambee Stars Fundraising Committee that was launched by Prime Minister Raila Odinga back in March in order to provide the team with resources to help them qualify for both the FIFA World Cup and Cup of Nations.
“I want an explanation because we have catered for Stars from this ministry and have also paid the coach Sh15 million already,” said the Mogotio MP.
Stars will face the Carthagian Eagles at the 65,000 capacity Stade Olympique in Rades which is located south east of Tunis.
Antoine Hey’s side lost the first leg 2-1 in a pulsating encounter at Nyayo National Stadium on March 28.
They are currently bottom of Group B and out of the running for the World Cup in South Africa though they mathematically stand a chance to make it to the Nations Cup for the second time in seven years.
Stars have three points, three behind Nigeria who are second with six while Mozambique are third with four points.