Harambee Starts last Sunday, 14th October went rampage on their day rivals, Ethiopia, finishing 3:0 in their AFCON qualifier return match after a goalless draw in Ethiopia earlier in the week. Deputy president William Ruto had promised the national team Kshs. 50,000,000 should they secure a qualification to AFCON.
With the win against Ethiopia, the Stars are closer but they have one unfortunate ride working against them, that could deny them the clear chance that appears to be very close. Harambee Stars are placed in group F which features Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Kenya is so far leading in the group with 7 points followed by Ethiopia with 4 points while Ghana and Sierra Leone trail with 3 points each, although they are 2 matches behind.
The misfortune here is the fact that last week, the match between Ghana and Sierra Leone was suspended due to Sierra Leone’s failure to meet certain FIFA conditions, If Sierra Leone is completely suspended out of the match, Ghana could automatically be awarded 6 points from the two missed games, giving them a lead in the group. This could mean that previous games played between the Sierra Leone and other group members could be given the same result, seriously affecting the standings in the group.
So, a qualification for Kenya is heavily dependent on FIFA’s decision on the Sierra Leone ban.
It is also worth noting that William Ruto had promised the 50 million shillings only if the Stars qualify and not just winning last Sunday’s game as many Kenyans seemed to have believed.