Harambee Stars playing in Malawi could negatively impact team’s performance, argues Nyamweya

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 01:15 | By
Sam Nyamweya and Moses Akaranga
Sam Nyamweya and Moses Akaranga. PHOTO/Print

Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya believes that national team Harambee Stars will be disadvantaged following the decision to move their 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast to Malawi.

With Kasarani Sports Complex and Nyayo Stadium already closed for renovation works, FKF confirmed on Tuesday that Kenya’s two home matches against the Swallows and the Elephants, who are the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions, will be played at Bingu Stadium in Lilongwe on June 8 and 11 respectively.

However, according to Nyamweya, the decision could affect the outcome of the results in favour of Harambee Stars because they will miss the chance to play on their turf.

“Moving home matches to another country will have severe implications, both on the team’s performance and the perception of the federation itself. Hosting home matches in Malawi has several implications. Firstly, it affects the morale and support of the home team as they lose the advantage of playing in front of our fans on familiar turf,” said Nyamweya.

“This could impact their performance on the field. Secondly, it reflects poorly on the federation’s ability to manage local affairs and provide a conducive environment for football development. It will also lead to loss of credibility and trust among fans and stakeholders.”

Nyamweya further faulted FKF for not doing enough to have the two matches played in Nairobi by saying: “Why was the federation for all this time misadvising government to close all the national pitches Nyayo and Kasarani for renovations when they knew they did not have an alternative?”

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