A source reveals to Goal the federation is planning to have the national team pitch camp in a neighbouring country for the qualifiers
The Football Kenya Federation has mooted plans to shift the Harambee Stars training camp to a neighbouring country in preparation for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The national team, led by coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, is scheduled to move to residential camp early next month to prepare for the qualifiers where they have been pooled in Group E alongside Uganda, Mali and Rwanda.
With the Kenyan government insisting on Wednesday that suspended sports may take time to return to the country owing to the coronavirus pandemic, a source has hinted to Goal the federation is now working on plans to have the team camp outside the country in readiness for the qualifiers.
“We are looking at either Uganda, Rwanda, or Tanzania as we plan to have the team move to camp and prepare adequately for the qualifiers,” the source told Goal on Wednesday.
“We are now in dilemma with the government stand on sports in the country and the best way we can get our team ready is by getting quick solutions, and the first option we are looking at is to assemble the squad and have them camp in one of the neighbouring country.
“We hope the government stand will be softened and football allowed to return as we need to have our players fit and ready to play in the qualifiers.”
As per the fixtures, Kenya will play host to Uganda at Kasarani Stadium, in the opener on June 5 or 6, before travelling to face Rwanda’s Amavubi in Kigali a week later.
A double-header fixture against Mali is set for Bamako and Nairobi between September 3 and 8, before the rematch against Uganda in Kampala and Rwanda in Nairobi in October.
On Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed admitted there was little she can do to ensure sports resumes in the country.
“I am not going to lie. All our efforts are directed towards ensuring levels of infections are down. So, we all have a role to play towards that agenda. As a ministry, there is nothing we can do at the moment,” the minister said.
In readiness for the resumption, the FKF had ensured players have been vaccinated against the coronavirus but Mohamed said it is only President Uhuru Kenyatta who can give directions.
“I realised several federations have taken the measures of ensuring the athletes are vaccinated. But, even in our efforts to see sports resume, we should remember this is a presidential directive which we must respect,” she added.
The FKF Premier League was suspended when a number of teams had played 16 games. AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia had played the least number of games standing at 14.