The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: FKF Optimistic of Stars Cup Future

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Sam Nyamweya believes the mood in the country's football fraternity is fertile for the national soccer team, Harambee Stars to return to the African Cup of Nations when the next qualifiers for the 2015 tournament kicks off.

Nyamweya, who was a guest at the launch of SuperSports' coverage of the African Cup of Nations finals that kick off in South Africa on the January 19, said it was down to hard work and combined effort from all stakeholders if Kenya is to return to the continental stage for the first time since 2004.

"The optimism in Kenyan football is sky high. We have grown from strength to strength and our teams are doing relatively well. It is not a coincidence that sponsors are returning in droves to support football, it is because of our commitment and transparency," observed Nyamweya.

SuperSports head of Africa Andre Venter revealed that the South African pay TV who are broadcast sponsors of the Kenya Premier League has set aside two 24 hour channels dedicated to the biennial African showpiece.

"From the opening ceremony to every second of football and even past the final match into the award ceremony, SuperSports will give you unprecedented coverage of the African cup of Nations," said Venter.

Former national team coach Jacob Ghost Mulee, the last coach to lead Kenya into the finals in 2004, admitted that it was becoming a source of frustration for him to be continuously referred to as such and challenged the FKF to take all measures to ensure Stars are in the next tournament.

"Not many people gave Kenya a chance at the Cecafa tournament but from their performance and with proper support and investment, I believe our team can return to the high table of African football," remarked Mulee.

Multi choice Kenya General Manager Danny Muchira said that for as low as Sh800 and with the launch of the Gotv Plus package, which has more exciting contents, fans will be able to watch all the 32 matches that will be played before the tournament ends on February 10.

Former Mathare United and Sofapaka midfielder Titus Mulama was also among the guests invited to the occasion and shared his experiences of becoming the first Kenyan player to score a goal from open play at the Nations Cup when he notched the only goal in Kenya's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Mali in Tunisia 2004.

Football legend Joe Kadenge said it will be another great occasion for them to watch the African showpiece but also a challenge to Harambee Stars to emulate their peers.

"The Africa Cup of Nations gives us the opportunity to see our top players play on the continent, something which has become rare with all the best players plying their trade in Europe," he said.

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