NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) says it has opened its doors to the recently retired Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama to help in the development of football in the country.
In a statement signed by FKF CEO Barry Otieno, the federation extended its gratitude to Wanyama who has 64 caps and seven goals since making his debut in 2007 playing a friendly match against Nigeria.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton defensive midfielder was influential in the current FKF regime that is led by Nick Mwendwa, skippering Kenya back to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 15 years.
“Football Kenya Federation wishes to thank former Harambee Stars Captain, Victor Wanyama, for his immense contribution, dedication and service to the national football team, Harambee Stars,” FKF said hours after Wanyama announced his international retirement on Monday.
Wanyama had expressed interest in working with the federation, saying that he hopes to return one day and help the federation off the field.
“The federation remains cognizant of Victor’s contribution to Kenyan football and believes the country will continue to benefit from his leadership and experience in the future. The door will always be open for Victor to contribute to the development of the game and the national team,” FKF added.
The federation heaped praises on Wanyama, who is the first and only Kenyan to grace the prestigious English Premier League after first breaking through to joining Southampton in 2013.
“Victor will forever occupy a special place in the history of Kenyan football and the national team. His retirement from international football is the finish line of perhaps the most influential national team career of recent times.”
“Most importantly, he will forever remain one of Kenya’s greatest international players, who offered so much to Kenya over the last 15 years, including captaining the team during the 2019 AFCON tournament. He is a rare gem, a special talent that this administration is most privileged and honored to have worked so closely with.”
“Whereas, Victor remained integral to the federation’s plans for the national team, Harambee Stars, FKF fully respects his decision to exit international football and wishes him all the best in his club career.”
Wanyama, 30, who was stripped off the Harambee Stars captaincy by the then national football team head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, handing it to Michael Olunga, said he had to make the difficult decision so that he can hand over to the next generation.