26 March 2019

Kenya: Migne Urges Government Support for Stars Preparations

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne has urged the government to accord the team full support in its preparation for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be held in Egypt from June 21.

Kenya qualified for the 24-team tournament by finishing second in Group "F" on seven points, two less than leaders Ghana. Draw for the competition will be held on April 12.

Key among the Frenchman's requests is proper travel logistics. Migne has attributed Saturday's 1-0 loss to Ghana in the final group "F" encounter at Accra Sports stadium to poor travel arrangements.

The 22-man squad spent more than eight hours to reach the West African nation aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight, a trip he believes would have taken less time on a chartered flight.

"I can't understand why we could not be booked on a Kenya Airways flight direct to Accra," the 46-year-old told Nation Sport after arriving from Ghana via Addis Ababa on Monday.

"To realise good results in Africa Cup of Nations, we need support from the government. I have a team of 32 players in my mind for Afcon, but I intend to go with 26 to France (training camp) and later name the final 23," he said.

Stars' budget of Sh244 million for the tournament has been approved by the government even though the whole amount is yet to hit Football Kenya Federation accounts.

"The challenge is, we have not booked the (training) venue in France. With such delays in preparation, it will be difficult," he said. Migne also attributed Caleb Ekuban's winning goal for Ghana late in the match to jet lag.

"Such lack of small details is what can cost you at high level match when you travel a day before the match," he added. He absolved goalkeeper Patrick Matasi from blame in the match following observations by pundits that the Ethiopia-based shot-stopper could have done better in the match.

"Since I came, he (Matasi) has been fantastic, with at least five clean sheets. Against Ghana, until the 83rd minute, he was on another clean sheet so we should not forget what he did for us.

Matasi, who plays for St George's in Ethiopia, was remorseful over the manner in which he conceded the goal.

"I miscalculated my reaction while going down within seconds and that's why the ball slipped and passed underneath me," Matasi noted.

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