Playing Iraq offers us a good test – Mwendwa


Harambee Stars players celebrate Eric Johanna's goal against Mozambique during their International friendly match at ...
Harambee Stars players celebrate Eric Johanna's goal against Mozambique during their International friendly match at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on November 12, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Besieged Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has said that there is need for the national football team Harambee Stars to play friendly matches against countries outside the continent, claiming this will boost the team’s fortunes in future.

Kenya is poised to face off with hosts Iraq on Thursday at the Basra Stadium, before taking on Thailand on Sunday at a venue yet to be confirmed.

The team left the country on Monday for the friendlies with the locally based players and Zambian quintet of Anthony Akumu, Jesse Were, David Owino, Cliffton Miheso and John Mark Makwatta, boarding the plane.

The rest of the foreign-based players including Girona striker Michael Olunga will link up with the team in Doha, Qatar.

Harambee Stars players Eric Ouma (L), Musa Mohamed (C) and David Odongo react during their AFCON 2017 qualifier match against Congo at Safaricom stadium Kasarani on June 05, 2016. Kenya won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Harambee Stars players Eric Ouma (L), Musa Mohamed (C) and David Odongo react during their AFCON 2017 qualifier match against Congo at Safaricom stadium Kasarani on June 05, 2016. Kenya won 2-1. Photo/SPORTPICHA

“The important thing is to continue building the national team by getting more exposure. Iraq is ranked position 88, so it’s a team that will give us a good test,” said bullishly charged.

Mwendwa was speaking to Citizen Digital  in the wake of a three-judge bench of the appellate court  reinstating  Nakumatt FC and Zoo Kericho FC to  the Kenya Premier  League – pending a ruling which is seeking  urgent orders to suspend High court  judgment which had barred the two teams from  participating  in the top-tier league .

The October 17 ruling will determine whether the High court judgment which had thrown out the teams will be suspended pending full hearing of their pleadings before appeal court.

And Mwendwa added, “Football is not played in courts, those teams were promoted legallyand they have been allowed to continue playing in the league before the ruling is done, all that we are trying to do is follow the law.”

Despite Kenya failing to host the 2018 Africa Nation Championship, the president insisted that the country will be ready to host the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after being handed the hosting rights.

FKF President, Nick Mwendwa, at a Harambee Stars training session on Saturday, March 18, 2012. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
FKF President, Nick Mwendwa, at a Harambee Stars training session on Saturday, March 18, 2012. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

“We don’t need the requirements of CAF  to host CECAFA when have stadiums that are ready for the tournament .The main issue is to get funds to host the teams which we are in the process of raising ,” he affirmed .

The regional tournament which brings together all the national teams of the 13 member countries will be held in November and December 2017.

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