NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s national team Harambee Stars’ first batch
of players jetted out Saturday for Ethiopia to face host soccer
team in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier match on Wednesday.
A contingent of
seven including five players and national head coach Sebastian
Migne will be the first in Ethiopia before a legion of foreign
based players and second batch of local players join them on
Kenya faces two
matches in one week against Ethiopia and coach Migne said they
have no choice but to win.
qualification process has been complicated after world football
governing body, FIFA suspended Sierra Leone from the campaign.
It leaves just three
teams in Group F meaning that all the teams will forfeit the
points earned against Sierra Leone in the qualifiers.
Kenya, which had
lost 2-1 in Freetown in 2017, will get a reprieve as it will
lose no points. However, Ethiopia, who beat the West African
side 2-1 last month, will forfeit their points.
It means both Kenya
and Ghana hold three points apiece while Ethiopia is bottom with
no points from Group F. Kenya needs three more points against
Ethiopia to seal at least number two spot from this group.
Migne says focus
should be on Ethiopia and believes his team will have no
problems traveling to Bahir Dar in Ethiopia.
The second batch
will travel on Monday, with foreign-based players also set to
link up with the team in Ethiopia on the same day.
The coach expressed
optimism that Harambee Stars will give a good account of
He said captain
Victor Wanyama’s inclusion is a big boost to the team’s pursuit
for a second appearance at the continental showpiece in the last
“Of course it won’t
be easy against Ethiopia since they are also equally strong, but
my players are up to the task and I am confident we will get a
positive result,” said Migne.
“We won against
Ghana without our captain, it will be morale boosting for us to
also win with him. He is one of our most experienced players and
will be crucial for us against Ethiopia.”
The match has been
slated for Wednesday in Bahir Dar, with the return leg set to be
played on Sunday, Oct. 14 in Nairobi.
Kenya focus on Ethiopia despite
suspension of Sierra Leone by FIFA
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s head coach Sebastian Migne has called on
his team to focus on their next assignment against Ethiopia in
the Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) qualifiers.
This move comes
after world football governing body FIFA suspended Sierra Leone
leaving the AFCON Group F in confusion of what will happen next.
The Bureau of the
FIFA Council suspended Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA)
with immediate effect due to government interference.
Whereas Kenya will
be meeting Ethiopia on Wednesday in the AFCON qualifiers away in
Addis Ababa and host them in Nairobi on Oct 13, Ghana is meant
to play Sierra Leone in Accra before traveling to Free Town for
the return leg clash.
“Our focus is on
Ethiopia,” said Migne on Saturday in Nairobi. “What happens is
not for us to decide. We need to win our next two matches to
live our dream of qualifying to the 2019 AFCON finals in
Kenya, Ghana, Sierra
Leone and Ethiopia are in Group F and only the winner of the
group will join hosts Cameroon in the finals next year in June.
But with the
suspension of Sierra Leone, FIFA is yet to determine the course
of action to be taken.
The decision comes
after a recent letter from FIFA to the Minister of Sports of
Sierra Leone to express grave concern about the removal of the
SLFA President and the SLFA General Secretary and to request
that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further
delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded
projects, are not jeopardized.
“The suspension will
be lifted once the SLFA and its recognized leadership have
confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises,
accounts and communication channels are under their control once
again,” said FIFA.
suspension Sierra Leone’s national team and clubs are no longer
entitled to take part in international competitions until the
suspension is lifted. Other member associations may not
entertain sporting contact with the SLFA during its
Kenya faces acid test against
Ethiopia in battle for Africa Nations Cup slot
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya coach Sebastian Migne has warned his team
they hold the destiny in their hands in their bid to break the
duck and secure qualification to the Africa Nations Cup finals.
It is over a decade
since Kenya competed at the premier football tournament in the
continent and the French coach believes the current team has the
capacity to edge out giants Ghana, Malawi and Ethiopia to emerge
top in Group F.
Kenya will have back
to back matches against Ethiopia in Bahir Dar in Ethiopia on
Wednesday and host their rivals in Nairobi on Oct. 13.
“The two matches
will make or break our dreams of returning to the Africa Nations
Cup finals in Cameroon in 2019. All the teams have three points
and six more points will push us to the summit, which will be
important as we wait for Ghana and Malawi matches in November,”
Migne said on Friday in Nairobi.
A team of 11 players
are already in camp in Nairobi having pitched training camp for
the last three days.
The team will depart
for Addis Ababa on Sunday, where the coach expects to link up
with the foreign legion of stars plying their trade in Europe
and South Africa.