•The Kenyan contingent that included head coach Francis Kimanzi and his technical bench left JKIA at 11 pm and flew to Dubai from where they were to take another flight to Cairo.
•The match against the Pharaohs will evoke memories of Stars' last trip to Egypt where they featured in the 32nd edition of Africa's showpiece football tournament in June.
Harambee Stars arrived in Egypt yesterday afternoon in readiness for Thursday's 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Stars team, mostly made of home-based players, have been in non-residential training camp since Tuesday last week. Sweden-based defenders Joseph Okumu and Eric Ouma were the only players based outside Africa to have travelled with their compatriots on Sunday night.
Captain Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), star striker Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China) and a host of other players plying their trade in Europe were set to link up with their countrymen in Cairo before making the trip to the city of Alexandria, where the match will be played.
The Kenyan contingent that included head coach Francis Kimanzi and his technical bench left JKIA at 11 pm and flew to Dubai from, where they were to take another flight to Cairo.
“That (non-direct flight) was the decision of the government to have us travel this route which was to take 14 hours for the team to be in Egypt,” said FKF communication official Kenn Okaka.
US-based winger Boniface Muchiri was equally expected to make the trip from his base in Los Angeles, California where he is on trials with Golden State Force, a fourth-tier side in the US soccer league hierarchy.
“The federation communicated with his club and we do not anticipate any hindrance to him joining his teammates in Egypt,” Okaka added.
The match against the Pharaohs will evoke memories of Stars' last trip to Egypt, where they featured in the 32nd edition of Africa's showpiece football tournament in June.
Then, in spite of the pre-tournament investment made on the national team's preparations, Stars did not go past the group stages. Since then, damaging allegations about how the nearly a quarter-billion shillings advanced to Stars preparations for the tournament were used have come to light. The allegations have overshadowed Kenya's preparation for the start of the qualifiers for the 2021 tourney in Cameroon.
Thursday's game thus will give the national team an opportunity to give Kenyan football lovers something to smile about before their second match against Togo at Kasarani next Monday. Egypt, meanwhile, are unlikely to have their talisman Mohammed Salah available for the match.
Salah hobbled off with a strapped ankle after his Liverpool side had beaten Manchester City in the English Premier League on Sunday.