The finals of the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial men’s football championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (Caf), get under way on Friday for one month in Egypt.
Kenya’s Harambee Stars are among the 24 national teams vying for the coveted trophy. They are making their first appearance in the continent’s top football diadem after 15 years.
Harambee Stars will face the 1990 champions Algeria, 2002 losing finalists Senegal and regional rivals Tanzania in Pool C of the tournament.
The mood is, arguably, positive in Kenya, a country that had been starved of continental football action for many years, what with Harambee Stars somewhat heightening the expectations by beating Madagascar 1-0 and drawing with the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 in their build-up matches.
We want to take this opportunity to wish the team the best as they take on the rest of the continent’s crème de la crème in “the beautiful game”.
We believe that head coach Sebastian Migne and his squad have worked hard enough to produce the much-desired good results, even though the team’s preparations could have been better.
Having two friendly matches ahead of such a high-profile championship is not enough. What this means is that our casual approach to preparations should cease. The team needs proper facilities and good remuneration to focus ahead with ease.
This should not only come as a lesson to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) but also local clubs that are preparing for continental assignments on why it is important to plan well and way in advance.