NAIROBI, Kenya, October 10- The Kenyan Government gave its national football team, Harambee Stars a $93,450 (Sh9.345m) boost for Saturday’s Africa Nations Cup final qualifier against Uganda in Kampala.
Making the announcement on Thursday, the country’s sports minister, Dr. Paul Otuoma, said the funds would go towards the team’s expenses for the match they need to win by at least 2-0 to harbour a chance of qualifying for the Equatorial Guinea/Gabon Nations Cup.
“I will be travelling to Kampala this evening to support the team and I urge other Kenyans to do the same since Kampala is not very far. We have heard reports there are fake tickets and we call on our fans to get the genuine ones,” Otuoma told the media.
The match where group leaders Uganda, Angola in second and Kenya in third have a shout in securing the lone ticket to the Nations Cup in Group J depending on the outcome has evoked huge interest among the usually travel sick supporters.
Already, all flights to Kampala have been fully booked with bus companies and private tour firms also reporting capacity bookings. The Government and other well wishers have donated buses with the exodus from Nairobi to Kampala already underway.
The team that been building up for the game in the Western town of Mumias, close to the Uganda border to acclimatise to the conditions they expect to face at the Nambole Stadium.
They are set to depart for Uganda Friday morning with head coach, Zedekiah Otieno, saying,
“The fact that we have got to the point where we are thinking of qualifying for the Nations Cup is a huge step for the team. We have come from far and whatever happens, we can be proud of the effort we have made considering the difficulties we have faced.”
At the same time, Kenya’s eagerly anticipated football elections will be held on October 29.
Josiah Osiago, the CEO of the country’s Independent Interim Electoral Commission (IIEC) announced the date on Thursday; bring to an end almost a year of postponements, disputes and threats of international Fifa bans.
“Following consultations, we have agreed on a date for the elections and we have released a timeline for the process. But even with elaborate plans and commitment by the elections officials, the success of the entire process will largely depend on active participation of the voters themselves,” Osiago said.