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Kenyans Wants CAF To Overturn Equatorial Guinea Victory

Harambee Starlets forward Corazon Aquino prepares to shoot in the second round 2018 Under 20 World Cup qualifier against Ghana played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. on Sunday, November 19, 2017. PHOTO/SPN
Harambee Starlets forward Corazon Aquino prepares to shoot in the second round 2018 Under 20 World Cup qualifier against Ghana played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. on Sunday, November 19, 2017. PHOTO/SPN
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NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenyans have expressed mix reactions after women’s national team, Harambee Starlets, failed to qualify for the 2018 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) final in Ghana.

The team was bundled out by hosts Equatorial Guinea who won the return leg 2-0 in Malabo on Saturday.

Starlets had carried with them a 2-1 advantage after the first leg which was held at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday.

Starlets eliminated neighbors Uganda 1-0 on aggregate to set up a meeting with the West Africans whose fate at the continental showpiece is in doubt since they are banned from the France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

While reacting to the loss, many Kenyans encouraged Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to lodge a complaint with Confederation of African Football (CAF) saying Starlets did lose on fair grounds.

“Equatorial Guinea is banned by FIFA even though they qualified, CAF should give Kenya the ticket to Ghana,” Hillary Buchi expressed his thoughts on JWsports1, a popular Facebook page devoted to the promotion of women’s football across the globe.

“Equatorial Guinea side featured players who were not supposed to play, some Cameroonians and Nigerians, I hope they would be banned by CAF and Kenya given the chance,” Luke Ochieng underlined.

A popular sports journalist, Fred Arocho, also had issues with the opponents saying their squad was not genuine. He proceeded to name some of the charges he thought were ineligible to contest the match.

“Three players, Annette Jacky Messing Cameroonian born}, Blessing Nnabugwu Diala {Nigerian born} and Dorine Chuigoue {Cameroon born}), from Equatorial Guinea side must be investigated further,” Arocho stated.

“I fully throw my weight behind Arocho.Our girls ought to play eligible and equal opponents,” emphasized Enock Musiomi Bukaya who is a staunch Starlets supporter.

But Orain Doe Jagem, a Gor Mahia FC fan, is of the opinion that Kenyans should stop crying since the milk is already split.

“The issue should have been brought up by FKF before the qualifiers kicked off. This seems like an advance complaint,” Jagem accentuated.

World Cup

Some like Zenia Coutière hopes that justice would prevail so Kenyans can be given what rightfully belongs to them.

“I still can’t believe that I will not be watching Starlets in the AWCON this year, they made us proud in their debut in Cameroun two years ago,” he said.

James Mathuku noted that he was impressed by Starlets show in the qualifiers and urged the federation to invest in resources that would help to expand women’s football in the country.

“I think Harambee Starlets seems to do much better than their male counterparts. I believe they will be the first to qualify for the World Cup. Let’s keep hope alive,” Mathuku underscored.

Following the 3-2 aggregate win over the Starlets, Equatorial Guinea now joins Cameroon and Ghana who have already qualified for the continental showpiece to be hosted by the latter in November.

The top three finishers at the November 17 to December 1 tournament where Nigeria are the champions are penned to represent Africa at the global championships.

Starlets are expected in the country on Monday.


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