Kenya’s 1-0 win over Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations Group F qualifying match offers a lesson to those in charge of the game. And it is quite simple; nothing is impossible. With proper planning, positivity and resolve, anything is achievable in sport.
However, this has to be backed by years of development and allegiance to best practice of management and talent development. Anybody watching the Kenya versus Ghana clash at Kasarani on Saturday would have noted that the West Africans were at a higher technical level than Harambee Stars, who relied more on the collective.
Harambee Stars looked short on the technical aspects, which in all fairness is not entirely the players’ fault, but a result of inadequate training at age-grade level. The players, however, made up for the deficiency with a collective approach backed by a partisan crowd in the stadium. It was disheartening that Harambee Stars were not allowed access to the Kasarani Stadium to train, yet Cameroon, who were en route to the Comoros, trained at the national facility.
The Ministry of Sports and the body tasked with managing the country’s sports infrastructure - Sports Kenya - let down the national team’s technical staff that had to make do with a private field at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. National team interests should trump financial rewards.
While this is food for thought for all concerned, Football Kenya Federation and the clubs at all levels must ensure Harambee Stars musters enough points in the remaining matches to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.