NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured football team of
continued support because the country’s comeback to the continental tournament
marks an important milestone for the nation.
Kenyatta beseeched the
players to always be at their best and to ensure they represent the country well
while they are in Egypt for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals even
if they do not win the event.
The AFCON is set to run from June 21 to July 19.
"It is not about winning but giving your best.
"That is the most important thing because you will be out there flying the
Kenyan flag," Kenyatta told the players and the technical team when he presented
the national flag to the team ahead of the continental championship.
The team will leave the country on Friday for Marcoussis, south of Paris,
where they will pitch their training camp for three weeks.
During their stay in France, Harambee Stars will play two friendly matches
against Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before heading out
It is the first time in 15 years that Harambee Stars will be participating in
the biennial event.
Kenya coach Sebastien Migne lauded the president for ensuring that the squad
received full support throughout.
"We shall endeavor to represent the country well.
"Thank you for your support," said Migne who leads a 27-member team out of
which 14 of his players are already in Europe.
Kenya will play its first game against Algeria on June 23 before facing
Tanzania on June 27 followed by Senegal on July 1.
Qualifying for the championship, Harambee Stars played return matches against
Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ethiopia and finished second in qualification Group C.
Amina Mohamed, cabinet secretary for sports, culture and heritage, said her
ministry had disbursed more than 240 million shillings (2.4 million U.S.
dollars) to facilitate the team’s preparations.