Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will set up a European based camp and four test matches for Harambee Stars in their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The already qualified Harambee Stars are lined to play Ghana in their final qualifier in March next year during the Fifa week and fly home to play what has been dubbed as ‘Thanksgiving friendly for ardent Stars fans’ at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
With the continental finals slated for mid-June to July, Stars will play three additional friendly matches between March and the tournament date where the three will away from the continent depending on the host nation. FKF are also contemplating setting up camp in France should Caf reinstate the hosting rights to Cameroon.
Kenya hope to play three friendly including Jamaica, who they have been talking to, since February, before heading to the finals.
However, the federation will be forced to set up the camp elsewhere should the hosting rights head to South Africa due to season switch. At the time of the competition it will be winter in South Africa hence it will be necessary to set up camp in a country with similar whether.
According to the federation’s President Nick Mwendwa, his office is acting on a recommendation from head coach Sebastien Migne and already an estimated budget of Sh2 million dollars for the Ghana match, the four friendlies and the Afcon finals has been tabled to the Ministry of Sports.
“We will play four test matches after the Ghana game and the first one will be at Kasarani to thank our fans for their support throughout the qualification. It will be played days after we jet in from Ghana just to appreciate our fans for their support.
The rest will be played in Europe where we will set up our camp in readiness for the finals. We are likely to camp in France if Caf will hand back the hosting rights to Cameroon and play Jamaica and other two strong opponents. If the hosting rights will head to South Africa, then we will change our camp since it will be winter in South Africa and It will require us to play in similar conditions before we go to the tournament,” said Mwendwa.
He added: “The expenditure for the Ghana match, the four friendlies and the finals is approximately Sh2 million dollars and we have shared with the ministry.”