Harambee Stars may take part in AFCON qualifiers

Harambee Stars may still end up in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) admits they are broke

Ahead of the qualification matches of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals, Kenyan football  officials are keenly watching  the going ons in Lesotho.

This is because the The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has still not secured funding for the national team to take part in the qualifiers which kick off on September 6.

The Lesotho Times said on Thursday that the team risk pulling out of the qualifiers which means that Kenya may be drafted as a replacement for the Southern Africa country who eliminated them in the pre-qualifiers.

According to Lefa Public Relations Officer, Thabo Maretlane, unless the association is paid the M3.6 million it is owed by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Likuena would not be able to be part of the qualifiers.

“At this very moment, nothing has improved and we are not sure whether the team will honour its matches, which as you are aware, are the last stage of the qualifiers,” Maretlane told the publication.

“The players are yet to return to camp since they were sent home last week due to the funding issue.
“It’s a sad situation, but there is nothing we can do and have to wait for the ministry to give us the money.”

However, Maretlane said “everyone” is now worried because it is now less than two weeks before Likuena’s opening match against Burkina Faso, scheduled for Ouagadougou.

“This is a very difficult situation for us as the football governing-body, but we are confident the ministry will secure the money as per their  promise,” Maretlane said.

A top Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said they are ready to replace Lesotho. "We have a team ready," said the official.

Harambee Stars are currently in Egypt for an international build-up match that was to be played on Saturday night.