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Stars, Angola Machakos friendly cancelled

Harambee Stars group photo before their friendly match against DR Congo on March 26 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – The highly anticipated friendly match between Kenya and Angola’s teams of local based players which had been set for June 4 in Machakos has been put off, on request from the Angolans.

The Southern Africans will be putting up camp in Portugal ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers and according to them, it would be a logistical nightmare to travel all the way to Nairobi for the friendly.

They will be playing their first qualifier on June 10 away to Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou.

Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa speaking to local website Soka has confirmed that the federation is considering taking the team to Rwanda to play in the annual Peace Tournament.

“Angola has informed us that they will be in Portugal for training and therefore not be able to honor the friendly in Kenya. We are now looking at other options including playing in the Rwanda (Genocide Memorial) tournament,” he said.

FKF communications officer Barry Otieno has also confirmed the federation is working round the clock to see to it that they secure a friendly.

“The peace tournament is one of the options and we are also talking to a few FAs. The challenge is that the time is too short but we will try all we can. If it will be impossible we will stick to preparing for Sierra Leone,” Otieno said.

Head coach Stanley Okumbi had already summoned a squad of 26 local based players for the home tie and they had been scheduled to report to camp on Sunday after the last fixtures of the Kenyan Premier League.

Harambee Stars is scheduled to play their first 2019 AFCON qualification match away to Sierra Leone in Freetown on June 10 and the Angola friendly would have been ideal for the local lads to fight for a spot in the AFCON team.