Nairobi — The Government through the Ministry of Sports has announced free entry for Sunday's 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier clash pitting hosts Harambee Stars and visitors Ethiopia at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.
This follows after Wednesday's 0-0 draw between the two sides in a match hosted a full to capacity Bahir Dar Stadium.
In a statement, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Rashid Echesa said the move to announce free entrance will motivate Harambee Stars beat Walia Ibex of Ethiopia and inch closer to sealing a place to next year's AFCON and return to the continental showpiece for the first time since 2004.
"Our National Soccer Team Harambee Stars has continued to perform well in the AFCON matches where Kenya has beaten Ghana and drawn with Ethiopia. In this respect, the Government has stepped up support for the team to ensure Kenya qualifies for the AFCON 2019 to be held in Cameroon," the statement read.
"On Sunday, Kenya will be hosting Ethiopia in a return leg AFCON match at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani. Consequently, it is important that as patriotic Kenyans, it is our duty to support the team unreservedly, Subsequently I wish to announce that entry to the Stadium at Kasarani will be free of charge to allow Kenyans cheer their team to victory. I wish out Team Harambee Stars all the best as they prepare to take on the Ethiopians," Echesa announced.
Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne had urged fans to turn out in large numbers on Sunday and support the team as they bid to make it to the Cup of Nations. Against Ghana, about 18,000 fans turned up at the 60,000 seater Kasarani Stadium.
“I have one wish, I hope to have a full stadium next Sunday because its amazing to play in this atmosphere. It was amazing to play in this stadium and it will be important if we get the same in four days and I hope to beat you,” Migne said after the match.
The draw propelled Kenya top of Group F and a win on Sunday will assure them a slot in 2019 AFCON to be hosted in Cameroon, depending of the CAF/ FIFA ruling on suspended Sierra Leone.