Does Kenya really need the COSAFA cup?


Ahem, Ahem….

For some people it may be a surprise, but ALAS! Kenya’s Harambee Stars will take part in a tourney dubbed the COSAFA Cup slated for July 6- July 20th in Zambia. A chance for thoroughly good exposure; helps the coach build a formidable side and even further, this is what Kenyans have been asking for from the federation.
With ambitions of taking part in the 2014World Cup in Brazil all up in smoke, a chance to rebuild and help prepare for a better challenge pops up right before our very eyes in the name of a COSAFA invite where some of Africa’s ‘best’ teams mostly from the south will have a go.
For these teams it’s only fair they take part in this competition as they are members of the Southern African football association Council. The question for Kenya though as one of the invited teams is- do they accept the invitation, which of course they already did. The next question then is, Does Kenya need this tournament?

Timing

“Since we played against Nigeria in Calabar where they escape with a lucky draw, no team can take us for granted and we expect to put on a good show in Zambia.”

I’m not so sure if Myopia best describes the current state of the Kenyan game especially at the National team level but with an invite to this tournament being accepted by the authorities- it’s not hard to rule it out all the same.
It’s not just unbelievable but also unrealistic that in a month when the Kenya Premier League needs to be in its second leg, a few teams are yet to kick-off any second leg fixtures. (I must sneak it here- that in most countries in the COSAFA region- the leagues are either taking a mid-season break or are ended.) Literally, the whole system seems to be dragging and with most players picked for this tournament by the National head coach hailing from the ‘big’ clubs who have a congested fixture detail, the team is at risk of either performing dismally or even failing to have some players released for training.
The fact that the federation Cup (FKF Cup) is yet to kick off is another factor that fits the time strain so well. In as much as the fixtures are yet to be rereleased, it’s not just punishing for the players but also for the clubs to have players take part in these competitions (for the national team) at the expense of silverware.
While the year has around five months to finally wind up, it should not be forgotten that the CECAFA championships will be held in Kenya in the month of December.
So taking a player who features in the whole second leg of the Kenya premier league, the FKF Cup (say up to the finals), the COSAFA CUP, the CECAFA Cup- he shall have played a total of say 15 (KPL), Say 3 (COSAFA), say 5 (CECAFA), say 5 (FKF) this is a sum total of 28 matches in 6 months. Forget the Ulinzi stars players who still even have the Military tournament to honour; which surely will drag their fixture schedule.
NOTE; I did not add the FIFA International friendly weekends/ WC2014 QF weekends.
Adel has gone on record to state that he would need at least the players selected twice a week for training- not very sure how this turns out with the coaches- Best of luck Mr Adel.
Constraints
“We are very confident that our team will honour the invitation by the COSAFA body and compete well’’

This doesn’t draw me back so far but to a post I made a few weeks ago on the ‘money/resources’ factor always raised by the administration anytime the team is playing or preparing to honour a fixture.
Kenyans will vividly remember the ‘MBAO na BAO’ initiative which was meant to help the National team raise money for the World Cup qualifiers, something which in turn the Harambee Stars can no longer qualify for.
If I remember clearly, the team needed close to 200 Million to be ready for the Qualifiers, the FIFA friendlies and the CECAFA Cup. According to all Kenyans knowledge- the Ahmed Musa goal did not just send us back quietly, but just as blank as that fateful evening was, news of the initiative have since gone silent.
I must assume that in a case where Kenyans donations hit the 200M shilling mark- a message of appreciation should have been sent round and if not- then constant updates and reminders on the same should have been conveyed. Keeping quiet would also mean, the money needed has been satisfactorily raised and the federation is good to go.
It’s funny though that even ad’s that used to run on air reminding us of the ‘poor’ state of the federation and the need to support our team have since gone silent, nobody has since come out to speak of the finances and it’s a pity that the COSAFA invitation has been accepted.
The question thus would be; does the federation have enough money to prepare this team for such an assignment. Is it a matter of just assembling the team for numbers purposes or is the COSAFA a serious national team venture?
If the resources thus exist to prepare a team for such a tourney then should Kenyans never expect the federation to come back begging for more help before the turn of the year?
Ladies and gentlemen- it’s a confusing state. COSAFA as a body need to be commended for inviting us to take part in their tourney, but refusal should also be an option in the cards for our federation of course with proper explanations given on the same.
May the excitement going round of a COSAFA participation die now for the moment, can we all look at the hard facts, does Kenya need the COSAFA Cup?

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