Orange Democratic Party leader Raila Odinga has challenged Harambee Stars to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
Stars, who dropped to 112th position in the June Fifa rankings, have never qualified for the coveted global event, save for their five times appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), with their last showing coming in the 2004 edition in Tunisia.
Raila has urged the national football team to ensure Kenyans are not spectators again when the 22nd edition is held in four years’ time as has been in the case over the past many years.
“I don’t believe that there are better talents in other Africans countries than in Kenya, we’ve seen what other countries have been able to achieve, now Kenyans are just spectators when some of the best players are on show in Russia,” said the former Prime Minister speaking at his Capitol Hill offices, Nairobi on Tuesday where he was paid a visit by Stars captain Victor Wanyama.
Wanyama handed him a signed Tottenham Hotspur jersey and in return, the former premier give the midfielder Joe Kadenge’s book.
“A player like Victor should have been in Moscow now with Kenya playing but unfortunately, we are not there. I want us to take this as a challenge and ensure that next time when the world cup takes place in Qatar, the Kenyan team should also be there,” he added.
He further congratulated the Spurs’ defensive midfielder for flying the Kenyan flag high in the English Premier League.
“I am happy that he paid me a courtesy call. We talked about football generally and we like what he is doing in England.
“Actually he is encouraging our young aspiring players to rise to the heights that he has reached. The sky is the limit for youths, but as a country we also need to do more in their growth,” concluded Raila, a proclaimed German supporter at this year’s World Cup.
On his side, Wanyama called upon upcoming footballers to maintain a high level discipline if they want to succeed in their careers.
“My advice to young players is that they should not give up. They instead should keep working hard and be disciplined for this is key to success. Talent is nothing without discipline,” said Wanyama.