Iran tie welcomed
A section of Football Kenya Federation Premier League coaches have sent strong compliments to Football Kenya Federation for its decision to play a friendly match against six-time world cup participants Iran later this month.
KCB football club coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno, who has previously managed Harambee Stars as an assistant and head coach respectively, says Kenya should be in jubilation for landing a friendly with Iran, who are ranked 24th in the World.
“Iran is one of the best football teams in the World. They have been in the World Cup six times and they have been there in the last three editions. Getting such a match is a plus for us. The challenge now is to make the boys ready for the task and that is a good opportunity for the new coach to test the players because we want to go to the World Cup,” Zico told People Daily Sport.
Zico sentiments have been echoed by Sofapaka coach David Ouma who says the Iran game is a big gesture for Kenya as far as football development is concerned regardless of the results in Tehran on Tuesday.
“I give kudos to this situation because we need to play teams that have been in the World, it does not matter the result that we will get there.
It should be about experience and testing ourselves as a country when we face a world cup team,” excited Ouma said.
Ouma who led Harambee Starlets to a historic and maiden African Women’s Cup of Nation in 2016 seemed to reiterate coach Firat’s comments on Sunday 19th March when he pleaded with football enthusiasts in the country not to focus on results now as he endeavours to build a robust team the next AFCON and World Cup qualifiers.
On his part, Bandari FC head coach and former Harambee Stars defender Anthony Modo Kimani noted that the next week’s highly rated game will be of immense importance for the country especially after more than one year without international action for Kenya caused by prolonged suspension from FIFA.
“This game against Iran will have a positive impact on our boys considering that they have not been together for international duty because of the obvious reasons that we all know. It is also a great stage for our coach to get to know some players better, especially the debutants so as to take the team to the next level”.
Meanwhile, Norway-based Alfred Scriven has admitted that he was surprised by the Harambee Stars call up from head coach Engine Firat.
The 25-year-old striker, who plays in the second division with Football Club Hodd, said Firat reached out to him through a Facebook message and thereafter communicated on WhatsApp asking him to play for Kenya.