Following the perfect preparations for the African Cup of Nations, all eyes are on the government and the country’s football governing body as Harambee Stars prepare for the CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN).
For the AFCON tournament, the government set aside Sh 242 million to be used in the team’s preparation and stay in Egypt. There’s a less likely chance that it will spend the same amount of money for CHAN. However, the least the government should do is make sure the players are well catered for.
Harambee Stars was well taken care of before and during AFCON, something that rarely happens in Kenyan football. The biggest question is will they be well taken care of during their CHAN campaign as they were in AFCON? CHAN is not a highly rated tournament as AFCON and might result to less seriousness in the preparations for it.
For years, the narrative of players lamenting about unpaid allowances has dominated Kenyan Football and the government alongside the Federation of Kenyan Football (FKF) had to do their best to see that there is none of the same at AFCON. However, the preparations only got serious once the team qualified for the tournament.
Each player received Ksh 254,625 when the team left the country. They further received Ksh 509,250 after Coach Sebastien Migne named his final 23 man squad. Can the CHAN players receive the same amount of money or at least something close to that?
Betting firm Betin Kenya could have provided some sponsorship as they are the national team sponsors but ever since their license was withdrawn they have gone missing in action. Betin made a contribution of Sh 20 million to Harambee Stars’ AFCON budget.
With Harambee Stars poised to face Tanzania on 28th July in their first CHAN qualifier match, the team needs maximum support if they are to have a chance at qualifying for the tournament. Given that they are to play without foreign based players, it is going to be a different challenge for Harambee Stars.
The support that Harambee Stars got during AFCON helped the team manage at least one win at the tournament. They only lost to Senegal and Algeria who went ahead to lock horn in the finals, Algeria winning. Stars players had enough motivation going into the tournament because they had already received their allowances prior.
All the players have going into the qualifier is hope. On the bright side however, the last thing the government and the federation want is a repeat of the unpaid allowances narrative.