NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Junior Harambee Stars are hopeful of
clinching the single ticket to play in next year’s African
Under-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania as the CECAFA region
qualifiers kick off this weekend in Dar es Salaam.
fourth last year in Bujumbura, Burundi, coach Michael Amenga is
optimistic of conquering the region as he has entered a stronger
side capable to raffle the feathers and claim dominance in the
already assured of a slot as hosts, the remaining nine teams
will square out for one slot to the continental championship.
Apart from Kenya and
Tanzania, the tournament has teams from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda,
South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea.
“We have prepared
very well because we have had a longer camp period and the team
has gelled together as a unit. Last year, we had just formed the
Under-17 team and there were a lot of teething problems. But
it’s different this time round and we also have a stronger
team,” Amenga said on Saturday.
Kenya are in Pool B
with South Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia and will start
their campaign next Tuesday against South Sudan. A top two
finish will guarantee them a spot in the semi-finals.
“In Africa now, you
can’t pick out a big team from a small team. Everyone is equal
and everyone wants to win. It will be very tough but we have to
work hard to get out of the group and most importantly top it.
If we get to the final, I believe we will have that motivation
to get the ticket to the Cup of Nations,” added Amenga.
Kenya captain Arnold
Onyango said he is ready to lead from the front and remains
certain they will secure their prize to make it at the Africa
Nations Cup in May next year in Tanzania.
“We know that Kenya
has never qualified for the Under-17 Cup of Nations and that is
our motivation. We want to be the ones to make history and
represent our country well. We expect a tough tournament but we
have prepared adequately,” added the defender.
Kenya challenges CAF decision
to bar three players from under 17 qualifiers
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya has challenged the decision to expel three
of the country’s players from the ongoing Confederation of
African Football (CAF) AFCON Under 17 qualifiers in Tanzania
after allegations emerged that the players are over the age
Federation (FKF) Head of Communications and Public Relations,
Barry Otieno said on Saturday evening that the local governing
body has performed its due diligence in the selection of the
Lesley Otieno Owino and Abdulmalik Hussein Abdalla are the three
players accused by CAF of being over-age and therefore, been
barred from taking part at the qualifiers.
“In total, 30
players were subjected to the mandatory tests, with the same
confirming that only two were not in the required age bracket,”
Otieno said in a statement.
“The two were
subsequently dropped from the squad prior to the team leaving
for Tanzania, thus giving the federation no reason to doubt the
eligibility of the remaining 28, of which 18 were selected to
represent the country in the U-17 AFCON qualifiers,” Otieno
The FKF has
subsequently written to CAF and the hospital that conducted the
MRI in Nairobi to establish the cause of discrepancies in the