FKF scrambles two buses of fans to support Starlets in Jinja


A fan aboard one of the buses at the Nyayo National Stadium on September 19, 2016 that ...
A fan aboard one of the buses at the Nyayo National Stadium on September 19, 2016 that was hired to ferry fans to travel to Uganda and support Harambee Starlets when they play Tanzania in their CECAFA women challenge Cup final on September 20, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) scrambled two bus-loads of fans to travel to Uganda on Monday to cheer on Harambee Starlets in their Cecafa Women Championships finals against Kilimanjaro Queens of Tanzania on Tuesday.

The hurried decision to hand about 80 fans the rare opportunity to watch the girls in action, came after Starlets edged out Ethiopia 3-2 in a tightly contested semi-final at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru, Jinja on Sunday.

The enthusiastic fans led by Beldin Odemba, a former footballer and an administrator in the women’s football league, believe Starlets will make history by lifting the coveted cup.

“It’s going to be adventurous. It’s been a long journey for us since 2012 when we didn’t have a proper women’s league.

“I’m proud of the girls; they have shown that they can really play football and encouraged the shy ones to join football. My biggest worry was the match against Ethiopia, they were a strong front and gave me goose bumps but we managed to sail through,” he enthused before boarding the first of the state of art coaches that departed in the afternoon for the trip.

“I have much faith that and I can already see them lift the cup with so much joy,” Odemba added.

Laikipia FKF branch chairman Abdul Kaka could also not conceal his delight at the chance to see Starlet lynchpin, Neddy Atieno, who hails from his region strike for glory.

“I’m going to celebrate Atieno, she is a great striker as well as the entire team. She comes from my area and has inspired several girls to venture in football,” Kaka offered.

FKF communication and public relations manager Barry Otieno told Citizen Digital that they partnered with a local betting company to facilitate the trip.

The fans are expected to arrive on match-day and leave after the final whistle.

“We felt if the girls had fans in the field, it will motivate them and increase the chances of them lifting the cup.

 

“Tentatively, we intended to take 43 fans who had already confirmed but we have another bus on standby in case the number goes up, we might take about 80 fans,” Otieno explained.

“We reached out to fans that are devoted to women’s football and the first two opportunities were given to officials from the Women Premier League.

“We also did a brief activation on our official social media platforms and the local stations whereby fans were required to answer questions. Some who got them right had other challenges such as lack of passports or they did not have yellow fever certificates,” the communications boss added.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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