The 1-0 victory by our national football team over the visiting Ghana team in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi, on Saturday was inspiring.
The victory saw the 10-man Harambee Stars revive the team’s hopes of qualifying for the finals of the premier continental competition, but their display in the Group F duel wasn’t convincing against the Black Stars, who dominated the match.
Harambee Stars, who tie with Sierra Leone and Ghana on three points, must now build on the success with good preparations before facing their next opponents, Ethiopia, on October 8 away in Addis Ababa and then October 16 in Nairobi.
However, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) must quickly resolve the stalemate between them and the players, who feel mistreated and abandoned. Key players — among them Victor Wanyama, George “Blackberry” Odhiambo and Boniface Oluoch — failed to turn up for the match due to lack of interest.
The FKF should respect the players and treat them well for good results.
Players and the technical bench need to be motivated, not only by providing good facilities and training atmosphere, but also with good and substantial allowances.
Our opponents have stepped up their game and FKF must smell the coffee.
Paying players’ training allowances is something that FKF must look into urgently since giving them only Sh750 daily is on the lower side.
Harambee Stars lost their opening match to Sierra Leone 2-1 and yet they were the favourites.
They must, therefore, avoid losing points at this crucial stage if they hope to qualify for the Afcon finals for the first time since 2004.
But there is hope, and the victory over highly ranked Ghana brought the Stars back into contention.