Uhuru congratulates Harambee Stars for 2019 AFCON qualification

Deputy President William Ruto when he visited Harambee Stars at Kasarani Stadium ahead of their AFCON encounter against Ethiopia, October 12, 2018. /PSCU
Deputy President William Ruto when he visited Harambee Stars at Kasarani Stadium ahead of their AFCON encounter against Ethiopia, October 12, 2018. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated the national football team, Harambee Stars, for qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

He said the qualification for the continental tournament for the first time in 15 years, is an exciting achievement for Kenya’s football. He promised the team of his maximum support.

“The success of our national football team is a game changer in our sports. We are proud of what our young people are doing to improve the standards of game in the country,” Uhuru said.

The confirmation that Harambee Stars had qualified for the AFCON 2019 was announced after Friday’s extraordinary meeting of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee in Accra, Ghana, which sealed Sierra Leone's fate.

Sierra Leone, which is in Group F of the qualifiers alongside Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia, has not been able to play their last three matches due to a FIFA ban on their Football Association.

With just one round of group matches to go, CAF has decided to scrap all past results involving the West African nation leaving the group with only three teams.

Sierra Leone had only played two matches in the campaign and since they had accomplished less than half of the total qualification matches, CAF decided to nullify all the past results involving the country in accordance with the qualifying rules.

President Uhuru said the Government, through the Ministry of Sports, will continue supporting the national football team as it prepares for the continental tournament.

Earlier, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, through his Twitter account, congratulated the team.

"This championship has eluded us for the past 15 years, I thank our boys for putting up a spirited fight against all the teams in their pool to see them qualify to represent Kenya," the CS wrote.