NAIROBI, Kenya, June 12 – National Broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) will air live all the 52 matches in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that kicks-off June 21 in Cairo, Egypt after securing the rights of the continental tournament.
The development comes as a sigh of relief to many Kenyans who have not access to pay television channels since KBC will beam the matches on the free to air terrestrial as the country waits to rally support behind national football team Harambee Stars who will be making a comeback for the first time since 2004.
Making the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communications (ICT), Joseph Mucheru said the National Broadcaster will also air the matches on the 22 radio stations, urging Kenyans to cheer Harambee Stars.
“We want to bring something that will create more excitement, the Africa Cup of Nations tournament is set to put Kenya in the continental map giving that the fact Harambee Stars are participating, this is with the full support of the President Uhuru Kenyatta,” Mucheru declared.
“The journey to acquiring the rights has been a long one, it has taken KBC some effort to make this happen and we look forward to supporting them. KBC as a public broadcaster has a mandate to Kenyans and therefore there was need to acquire the rights for public good,” the CS added.
Harambee Stars, who are in Paris, France for a three-week boot camp, will open their Group C AFCON campaign on Sunday, June 23 against Africa’s top ranked side Algeria before facing neigbours Tanzania four days later then wrap up the preliminary stage with a tough fixture against Sadio Mane’s Senegal July 1.
Harambee Stars head coach Sabastian Migne has already released his squad of 23 players that saw winger Cliffton Miheso, defender Brian Mandela, midfielder Christopher Mbamba and Zesco United midfielder Anthony Teddy Akumu dropped.
The Kenyan charges will be steered by skipper Victor Wanyama who plies his trade in the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur.
-By Jemimah Mueni-