Friendlies good for our national teams

Monday September 4 2017

Harambee Starlets' Florence Adhiambo (right) dribbles past Mercy Achieng during the team's training session for Cosafa women championship on August 31, 2017 at Kasarani Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Harambee Starlets' Florence Adhiambo (right) dribbles past Mercy Achieng during the team's training session for Cosafa women championship on August 31, 2017 at Kasarani Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MOSES OJUANG'
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Sometime back, we were calling for Football Kenya Federation to do something about international friendlies for our national football teams.

At that time, such things could not be done. The body was weak and full of sores! It was a tall order and some verbal people like yours truly felt so frustrated until it seemed like we had some ulterior motive induced by money from other quarters. Article after article we rained hard on FKF leadership until we sounded like fishwives.

People called to ask if FKF president had taken and slaughtered a goat of mine. It was a very annoying time. At one time, FKF leadership woke up and told us that the national team was at last going to play an international friendly with Sudan. We celebrated prematurely.

The next day, we woke up to the rude shock that the boys were being sent to play in Darfur! That a very dangerous region in the world at the time and here our officials were sending our boys to be the guinea pigs for Sudan to show the world that there was nothing to worry about in Darfur!

The match never took place and our boys were very wise in that decision. We only wish that the officials had gone there to play themselves and possibly be shot on their tired knees. We were vilified online by the beneficiaries of the status quo at the time and of course some of them became very tribal, Kenyan-style.

Well that administration has now been washed away with the tides of time. We cannot pretend that we agree with all the things the present officials do or promise; all we know is that we are on the right track and the future may be much better if we don’t lapse back into the cold past. The national team travelled to Mozambique and played there.

They drew 1-1 but the feeling it brought to us was satisfactory. We slept later without gnashing our teeth and cursing in our hearts. The Stars went there without hitches of transport or allowances! That was unthinkable just a few years ago.

At the same time, a 20-man squad largely made of local based players, all being prepared for the 2018 African Nations Championships (Chan) to be held in Kenya in January 2018, travelled to Morocco for two friendly games against Togo and Mauritania on August 31 and today respectively.

Kenya Under-20 women’s squad is in Jordan for two friendly games all in readiness for first round clash Ethiopia in qualifiers of 2018 U-20 World Cup.

Coached by Caroline Ajowi, the squad left for the games on August 26.

The national women’s team Harambee Starlets has also been in camp from August 27, under new coach Richard Kanyi, in readiness for Cosafa women’s Championships between September 13 and 24.

These are just some few things that are taking place under the radar as the country is at the moment glued to politics and tribalism. They are a pointer to better days ahead and when things are good for us we shall remind you about how they got to be good!