Confusion as government brush off alleged Harambee Starlets AWCON pull out

Harambee Starlets' celebrating their win against South Sudan in the Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualifiers match at the Nyayo National Stadium, Oct 20, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Sports CS Amina Mohammed on Friday night brushed off claims the national women's football team, Harambee Starlets had pulled out of the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Confusion arose in the evening after Uganda's federation FUFA confirmed that they have received a communication from CAF confirming the withdrawal of Kenya from the qualifiers.

FUFA released a statement saying the Uganda Senior Women’s National Football Team, the Crested Cranes, will grace this year’s Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals at Morocco in August.

“We regret to inform you that we have just received Kenya FA a correspondence informing us of their withdrawal from Women AFCON- Morocco 2022. Consequently, matches 45 and 46 are cancelled as well as the missions of all designated officials. Uganda is automatically qualified to the next round of the competition,” part of the communication as quoted by the federation read.

However, after fierce reactions on social media from fans, Sports CS Amina Mohammed assured Kenyans that they had not communicated to CAF about pulling out and that the team is in camp.

"We have learnt that there is a suspected fraudulent letter that was purportedly written to CAF

to withdraw our heroines, Harambee Starlets, from the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier against Uganda," said Amina.

"It should be noted that the team is already in camp preparing for the first leg in Kampala,

Uganda, on February 17 and the return leg in Nairobi five days later.

"The Harambee Starlets have worked so hard to get to the last hurdle to the AWCON finals in

Morocco later in the year and any attempt to interfere with that must be condemned and not be allowed to succeed.

"Anyone found to have been involved in any such attempt will be held fully accountable.

 As Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, we have mobilized every resource under the guidance of the FKF Caretaker Committee led by Justice (Rtd) Aaron Ringera to ensure Harambee Starlets are ready for the fixture against Uganda.

" The Ministry is doing everything possible to contact the relevant authorities at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world football body, FIFA.

" Harambee Starlets will continue with their preparations as we seek to correct this misrepresentation.’

Harambee Starlets had already reported to residential camp at Kasarani and held their first training session on Wednesday under the stewardship of new head coach Alex Alumirah and his technical bench.


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