Nairobi — Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne and skipper Victor Wanyama have welcomed the government's directive to open up Sunday's 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ethiopia free to fans.
Migne - who since his first briefing after being appointed as head coach has always called on fans to support the team - says it will be brilliant for the players to play under huge home support having seen the Ethiopians fill up the Bahir Dar Stadium in the first leg on Wednesday.
"It will be fantastic; it will be great to see the fans come and support the team. We are on the way and we need the 12th player in Kasarani on Sunday, and please they should come in red jersey," the French tactician told Capital Sport on Thursday evening after the team jetted back from Ethiopia.
He has also thanked the government for the move, but has also asked them not to limit their support to the team to sunny days only, but to be there as well when the rain beats.
"Of course if all the people firstly the government can support us it would be fantastic. I would like just to tell them, help us but not only when the victory is there, because when you have good results you have a lot of friends but you are alone when it's more difficult," the tactician further said.
Stars picked up a barren draw from the first leg in Bahir Dar in a full-to-capacity stadium with almost 70,000 fans reported to have attended the match.
Skipper Victor Wanyama lauded the players for the character they showed to play under such testing atmosphere and has called on the Kenyan fans to counter that on Sunday.
"It was an intimidating atmosphere but the players really stood up to it and gave their best. I want to ask our fans to also turn out in large numbers and support us because we need them," Wanyama further stated.
Meanwhile, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa who was with the team in Ethiopia says he has spoken to the CS Rashid Echesa who informed him of the decision, directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Federation chief says they will make plans for adequate security arrangements, knowing the logistical nightmare that a huge crowd for the 60,000-seater stadium might bring.
"I am glad that the President has given the directive and he is now on board saying that he is part of the process and the boys are happy he has done so. We want to see fans in their colors and we will be making arrangements for the day. We will have enough security and entertainment for the day. We want to have support like we have never had before," Mwendwa said.
At the same time, striker Michael Olunga has promised fans victory as he urged them to come in their droves as the team looks to get into the Cup of Nations for the first time in 14 years.
"It is a lot of motivation to have the fans coming in because every player wants to play with a full stadium and support. I thank the government for this initiative and I want to ask them to continue supporting the team and motivating the players," Olunga noted.