A www.nation.africa story
The first leg of the tie against Uganda’s Crested Cranes was scheduled for February 17 in Kampala, with the second leg set for Nairobi on Sunday. The aggregate winner of the tie was set to qualify for the AWCON, set to be held in Morocco alter this year.
CAF wrote to Uganda’s federation (FUFA) last month informing them that the Crested Cranes had qualified for the AWCON after Kenya withdrew from the contest.
The Kenya national women football team, Harambee Starlets, has finally left their residential training camp at Kasarani after efforts by the government to overturn CAF’s decision to lock the country out of the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers hit a dead end.
The first leg of the tie against Uganda’s Crested Cranes was scheduled for February 17 in Kampala, with the second leg set for Nairobi on Sunday. The aggregate winner of the tie was set to qualify for the AWCON, set to be held in Morocco later this year.
CAF wrote to Uganda’s federation (FUFA) on January 28 informing them that the Crested Cranes had qualified for the AWCON after Kenya “withdrew from the contest.”
The Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee on Wednesday admitted the match had aborted as CAF had not replied to their letter protesting the decision to hand Uganda a free pass.
The committee’s chairperson, Retired Justice Aaron Ringera, said that they have written to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to grill the CEO of disbanded Football Kenya Federation, Barry Otieno, author of the letter that CAF used to kick Kenya out of the qualifiers.
“To the best of my knowledge, Otieno will be appearing before DCI for interference and sabotage. He has denied the girls an opportunity and I hope Otieno and his team will not do what they have done, in the coming competitions,” said Ringera.
“If these ladies got the chance, they were going to beat Uganda. We are going to have Under 17 and Cecafa coming soon and we don’t want to see this happening again,” he added.
The committee said all the players have been paid their allowances and all expenses amount to Sh7 million against a budget of Sh39 million.
Harambee Starlets coach Alex Alumira and skipper Corazon Aquino expressed their dissatisfaction after their dream of making it to the AWCON was halted.
“Whoever did this doesn’t have a human heart and may God punish this man properly,” said Alumirah after expressing his disappointment over the issue.
“I thank the caretaker committee and the support from Kenyans when we were in camp. It is unfortunate but will keep our focus and hope. To whoever did this may thunder strike you,” said Aquino.
Their sentiments were also echoed by Team Manager Martha Karimi who told the girls not to mourn over the missed chance and to concentrate on their careers.
Kenya hammered South Sudan 15-1 on aggregate in October to storm the second round of the qualifiers against the Crested Cranes, who overcame Ethiopia on post-match penalties.