FKF confirms Kenya-Iran friendly still on

By francis marangu
Nov 03, 2014
  • Harambee Stars Macdonald Mariga in a past match against Lesotho.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Football Kenya Federation,FKF, has maintained that the planned international friendly match between Harambee Stars and Iran is still in the pipeline despite cancellation rumours.

Reports in a section of Iranian and international media over the weekend had it that the local federation had decided to call off the match after tight demands from FKF.

The match was slated for November 14 and its understood that they are chasing Zimbabwe as a replacement for Kenya.

“Kenya Football Federation has asked 50,000 U.S. dollars(about Ksh. 4.5 million) in addition to travel expenses and that is not a usual request for a team ranked 116 in the FIFA ranking,” Iran’s Football Federation President Ali Kaffashian told Xinhua News Agency.

However, FKF insists the match is still in the works as far as they are concerned and have not received any formal communication over the cancellation. “The talks are ongoing and we are not aware of the cancellation,” FKF CEO Michael Esakwa told sportsnewsarena.com.

Iran had requested for the warm-up tie as they prepare for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup while Kenya was to use the match in preparation for the upcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

This is the third international friendly match that FKF is planning under head coach Bobby Williamson.

The team lost 0-1 to Egypt and 0-3 to Morocco in earlier matches.

Meanwhile, the host nation for CECAFA is still unknown following late withdrawal by Ethiopia.

Tanzania and Sudan are the most probable alternatives to host the tourney that begins at the end of this month.

Kenya is the defending champion and have not yet began training. Esakwa said the delay in mapping out the team’s schedule has been occasioned by the Kenyan Premier League which is in its final round of play.

“We are just waiting for the league to conclude over the weekend then a full program for the national team will be rolled out.”