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Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi during the team's training camp in France in June 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

CS Amina offers hope for Harambee Stars ahead of AFCON qualifiers

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22 – Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has assured that Harambee Stars’ preparations towards November’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Comoros will start on time, despite an extension on the ban of contact sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Friday, Amina extended the ban on contact sports indefinitely while non-contact sports were allowed to return, six months since the pandemic stalled all sporting action.

There was concern over the national team which is scheduled to play the two crucial home and away matches against Comoros, but Amina says there are talks between her ministry, that of health and the Football Kenya Federation.

“We are communicating to see what we can do to open up. These regulations are from the Ministry of Health and I don’t know why people are blaming us. We are just following the directives we are being given. There are reasons why we have opened partially,” Amina told Capital Sports.

Even as Amina said contact sports will be banned, mini-tournaments and matches have been going on in community playgrounds all over the country.

On Tuesday, Gor Mahia announced that they had permission to start their training ahead of the new season. Several teams have also resumed training, while the Federation is now waiting on a go ahead from the bosses at Kencom House to roll out plans for the leagues.

Harambee Stars need points against Comoros in the home and away ties to ensure they remain on course to qualify for the 2022 Cup of Nations. The team currently sits second with two points behind the islanders who have four from a win and a draw in the opening two matches.

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