Kenya’s U23 handed a lifeline as Eritrea withdraws

When Eritrea beat Kenya 4-1 in a first leg All-Africa games qualifier, the whole country was in an uproar. 

The poor result cost former coach Bob Oyugi his job as Football Kenya cracked the whip.

However with two days before the return leg match, Eritrea have pulled out handing Kenya a place in the second round of the competition.

The Eritrea Football Association wrote to Football Kenya on Thursday indicating their inability to honor the return match.

The association claims they were informed late about the return date even though it was well known way before that the match would be played any day beginning from Friday April 29 to April 30 in accordance with the CAF calendar for international matches.

According to Eritrea National Federation Secretary General M Ghidey said in a letter to FKL.”We hold the view that this short notice besides contradicting rules stipulated by CAF left us with no time to organise our flight on time to Nairobi.”

The match was supposed to be played this Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium according Football Kenya who were ready  for the fixture.

The Eritrea FA official said they have forwarded their concerns to CAF with regards to the withdrawal.

He also complained that they had had problems organising the first leg match when Kenya arrived late in Eritrea and were forced to incur extra expenses.

But Football Kenya head of technical committee Hussein Swaleh denied the accusations by Eritrea claiming they were using it as an excuse not to play the return match.

“It is obvious they are afraid of us after learning that we have strengthened the team with new players. They knew all along when the match will be played and should have made arrangements to travel to Nairobi,” he said.

Swaleh said they will seek CAF’s word on the way forward over the matter. Should Kenya be awarded a walkover they will play either Uganda or Tanzania.

Gina Tivona

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Posted by on May 5 2011 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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