Stars now to travel to Cape Verde on chartered aircraft

By alex wafula
Nov 15, 2021
  • Harambee Stars players have threatened not to board a chartered flight to Cape Verde if their allowances were not paid on Monday.

  • Nakumatt FC goalkeeper Adisa Zuma is lifted by fans after saving three penalties against Sony Sugar. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Harambee Stars players were locked up in a meeting with federation officials and the technical bench way into Saturday night as a possible crisis of the players boycotting their return leg match against Cape Verde in Praia on Tuesday became real over unpaid allowances.

The federation had earlier planned that the team leaves for Cape Verde via Amsterdam and Lisbon on Saturday night but could not get tickets in time. Players had also said, without their allowances, they would not be taking on that plane to Praia.

However, FKF vice president Robert Asembo met the players in the evening at Kasarani, a meeting that stretched to 9 p.m. in a bid to convince them to honor the match and that their allowances will be paid.

A source privy to the meeting told Sportsnewsarena.com that Asembo informed them they will be leaving on Monday at 11 a.m. aboard a chartered flight direct to Praia and before boarding the plane, they will have their allowances.

The players responded by saying they will wait until Monday but will not set foot in the plane if the promise of paying their allowances dating back to the Mauritius match will not be kept. The federation had earlier in the evening sent out a release confirming the team will be traveling on a chartered plane.

“The Government of Kenya, together with Football Kenya Federation, would like to confirm that the national football team, Harambee Stars, will leave the country on Monday morning aboard a chartered place direct to Cape Verde.

The decision to charter a plane is informal by the route challenges posed by the destination of Praia which would otherwise keep the team in travel long for more than 24 hours through Europe,” the federation noted in its statement.

At the same time, Ulinzi Stars left back Omar Mbongi who made his debut in the first leg tie which Kenya won 1-0 on Friday hopes this is a beginning of more starts for him. The left back earned plaudits after his strong display. 

One of them was his coach Robert Matano who watched the match. “The team gave me a lot of support. The captain, the technical bench, everyone encouraged me and after the game I have received so much congratulatory messages on my performance. I feel encouraged and I want to work hard to keep that position,” Mbongi told Sportsnewsarena.com.

Nakumatt oust Sony

Elsewhere, Sony Sugar FC were knocked out of the GOtv Shield by Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Nakumatt FC 3-1 on post-match penalties.

The latter now qualify for the semi-final where they will meet the winner between Gor Mahia and Administration Police, the match being lined up for Friday November 20.

Victor Ayugi had opened the scores for Sony with a well taken freekick before Nakumatt skipper Peter Nzuki responded almost immediately, scoring from the penalty spot after Tyron Owino was hacked in the box by Samwel Olare.

On penalties, Nakumatt sent in second choice keeper Zamu Adisa for Wycliffe Kasaya and the former Thika United and Bidco shot stopper proved the gamble right, saving two penalties as Nakumatt advanced.

Marwa Chamberi returning to the first team after almost two months on the sidelines began the shoot for Sony, missing the target before Juma Seif scored for Nakumatt. Goal scorer Victor Ayugi saw his spot kick missed and former Gor Mahia and Tusker defender put the second tier side in control scoring their second spot kick.

On loan Gor Mahia youth midfielder Amos Nondi who put up a stellar performance for the sugar millers restored hope scoring his kick but Mustaffa Mohammed ensured the advantage remained with Nakumatt and when goalkeeper Kevin Omondi missed for Sony, it was all over for Nakumatt.

There was a confusion over the venue of the first semi-final match between Bandari FC and Muhoroni Youth FC which was set to be played on Sunday. Bandari are in Nairobi, with information the match will be played at the Nyayo National Stadium while Muhoroni are in Kisumu, saying they were told the match will be at the Moi Stadium.

“We are in Nairobi because the information we were given stated the match is at Nyayo,” Bandari coach Twahir Muhiddin said. His Muhoroni counterpart James Omondi however stated; “We are in camp in Kisumu, ready for the match tomorrow. We are the home team and so the match has to be played in our home ground.”

When reached for comment, FKF through communication manager John Kariuki said they had informed both teams that the match will be played at the Nyayo Stadium.

Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala though instructed his team to travel overnight to Nairobi for the match, probably after finding out they would lose the slot for the final had they stuck to their decision to wait for the match in Kisumu.