Rebuild Harambee Stars

What you need to know:

  • As Africa’s best tussle for the ultimate glory kicks off, Kenya will be conspicuously missing.
  • Many had expected Harambee Stars to qualify and play in the expanded 24-nation competition.

The Africa Cup of Nations, the continent’s biggest football jamboree, kicks off tomorrow in Cameroon.

This particular edition, the 33rd in the history of the tournament, was postponed in January last year owing to Covid-19, and its eventual staging is bound to attract more attention especially with football activities having picked up across the world.

But sadly, as Africa’s best tussle for the ultimate glory kicks off, Kenya will be conspicuously missing.

Many had expected Harambee Stars to qualify and play in the expanded 24-nation competition, but alas, the football gods, or is it our bungling administrators, conspired otherwise.

It means that as African players from all corners of the continent showcase their talent, ours will be watching from the sidelines.

In fact, Harambee Stars will be inactive this year as they were also knocked out of the qualifiers for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Even as our local football administrators watch admittedly lesser football playing nations the likes of Mauritania, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Comoros in action in Cameroon, they should reflect on what has gone wrong with our game and how structures can be put in place to guarantee success in the future.

The Football Kenya Federation Caretaker Committee that was constituted in November has since disbanded Harambee Stars’ technical bench and is looking to hire new coaches for the national team.

Harambee Stars need to rebuild from scratch, with a carefully picked technical bench, youth development structures that guarantee a talent reservoir, and a long-term plan that will aim to make the nation competitive at the Afcon and even the World Cup level in say six, eight or 10 years’ time. 

For quite simply, there are no shortcuts to success.

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