Expose your players on friendlies, KANU tells FKF
Former Arsenal and Nigeria striker Nwankwo Kanu has urged Football Kenya Federation to expose local players if it wants to improve the standards of the game in the country.
Kanu, who is in the country courtesy of Startimes Media, is of the opinion that it is only through organisation of high-profile friendly matches that Kenya will be able to compete against the best.
With Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama (Southampton) and Belgium-born striker Divock Origi both excelling in the English Premier League, the former AFC Ajax, Portsmouth and West Brom star believes Kenya has the capacity to export more players.
“You have Victor (Southampton) and Divock (Liverpool) who moved to play for Belgium, that one in itself is a future,” said Kanu after gracing the Startimes Media Challenge Tournament at the Kasarani Stadium on Saturday.
“I have watched some of Kenya’s qualification matches, but when you talk about the future it is what you put in the younger generation. But my advice to the federation is that they should ensure they expose these players through friendlies with teams like Holland. When you do that people will want your players on board. Clubs will fancy them.
Federations are key to development of football in Africa. So we must find a way to ensure that they are working in the right way. For instance why is it that our teams perform well in the junior categories but when federations take over the senior team the performance becomes disastrous?” He added.
Although the 40 year old, who held a football clinic at the Eastleigh High School yesterday, was disappointed by Nigeria’s recent elimination from the 2017 Afcon qualifiers, he still recalls the rivalry between the Super Eagles and Harambee Stars during his time.
“It was always a big fight between Kenya and Nigeria, that’s because of the physicality of Kenyans. They are strong and can run. But the good thing is that we were technically superior” Said Kanu.
However, Kanu, through his Kanu Heart Foundation initiative, is expected to visit Kenyatta Hospital’s cardiovascular ward today.