LONDON, February 1 – Arsenal FC would like to visit Kenya and play a friendly but the congested football window in Europe has denied them the opportunity to treat their fans to a lifetime experience.
Speaking to Capital Sport in London, Arsenal Arsenal FC Chief Commercial officer, Vinai Venkatesham disclosed that touring Kenya is something they have discussed but cannot make any further commitment.
Venkatesham acknowledged the massive fan base they have in Kenya, a country he said has rich talent in football and if well utilized, it will see players feature in the top EPL sides, preferably at the Gunners.
“We have never played a first team game in Kenya, we would love but the football window is very congested and that’s the challenge we encounter. Every other year we have a European championship or World Cup so the window is condensed further.
“We know that we have a huge fan base through out Africa and more so in Kenya in particular, so we would like to play in Kenya and its something we have looked at behind the scenes before, but I cant make any commitment,” Venkatesham who has worked at Arsenal for six years told.
He added, “We thank our fans in Kenya for their support we don’t take it for granted because when we are playing matches, we know we are not playing for the fans inside the stadium alone but all over the world.”
West Africans dominate the list of African players who have featured for Arsenal but the recent speculations that linked Harambee Stars captain and Southampton midfielder, Victor Wanyama to Emirates in the just conclude transfer window at least gave hope to East Africans.
“When you hear Wenger speaking about talent identification,he often says the same thing that he doesn’t value passport and what he means is that he is not looking where the players are coming from but its whether they have the quality to succeed.
“Wenger alongside the people who are scouting for talent all over the world are not looking for people of particular nationality but the quality so if Arsene scouts the best talent in Kenya and he is worth, he will definitely give him a chance,” he explained.
Wanyama who is having a tremendous run in EPL was tipped to be on Wenger’s radar but unfortunately nothing materialised as the manager preferred Elnemy who plays similar role as ‘Big Vic’.
-Report compiled by Alex Isaboke in London.