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Nick Mwendwa moans delays in Harambee Stars funding

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has moaned over what he says is the consistent delays by the government in funding the national teams ahead of international engagements.

The football boss spoke on Tuesday night at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Nairobi, at an event where the Harambee Stars were hosted to a dinner send-off by MozzartBet ahead of Thursday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification match away to Uganda.

This clash versus the old enemy will be staged at the St Marys Stadium in Kitende, a Kampala suburb, from 4pm.

“The ticket (Michael) Olunga has used to travel to Nairobi has not been paid for as yet. We sent a request to the government (for funding) a month ago and sent a reminder last week but there was no response. So we’ve talked to partners and service providers to extend their services on credit,” said Mwendwa.

“And by the way, we are yet to receive funding for the recent matches involving our women’s team (Harambee Starlets).”

The government is required by law to fund all national teams competing at international engagements. Sports PS Joe Okudo was unavailable for comment.

The development comes at a time Mwendwa has publicly read mischief in an audit ordered on the football body by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

But besides the claims by the football boss, Olunga, the team captain, is optimistic Kenya is up to the task that awaits them in Kampala.

“Games against Uganda are normally very tough and judging from their recent form, we will have to be at our best to compete with them. I am certain we will give them a good game,” he observed.

Kenya coach Engin Firat has selected 24 players for the trip including Belgium-based defender Joseph Okumu and midfielder Richard Odada who is based in Serbia even though the duo was considered injury doubts ahead of this contest.

Stars are already out of the running to play at next year’s Fifa World Cup. The team is also seeking win number one on its fifth attempt in the qualifiers following draws with Uganda and Rwanda and back-to-back losses against Mali.

Kenya squad
Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno, James Saruni, Brian Bwire

Defenders: Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohamed, Abud Omar, Johnstone Omurwa, David Ochieng, Eric Ouma

Midfielders: Amos Nondi, Abdallah Hasan, Richard Odada, Anthony Wambani, Kenneth Muguna, Duke Abuya, Alwyn Tera, Anthony Akumu, Cliff Nyakeya, Eric Johanna Omondi, Timothy Ouma, Samuel Onyango, Clifton Miheso

Forwards: Michael Olunga, Ismael Dunga