President Uhuru Kenyatta handed over the flag to national soccer team Harambee Stars as they compete at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) set for Cairo, Egypt next month.
Stars will be competing at the continental tournament for the first time in 15 years since 2004.
While handing over the flag to the team at State House Nairobi to the team that will pitch camp in France for 19 days before heading to Cairo, Kenyatta challenged Stars to represent the country well in the championships that runs from June 21st to July 19th.
He urged Sebastien Migne led team that they should be good ambassadors for the country even if they do not win the trophy.
“It is not about winning but giving your best. That is the most important thing. You are out there flying the Kenyan flag,” said the President
The team which leaves the country Friday morning for Paris where they will pitch their training camp.
During their stay in France, Harambee Stars will play two friendly matches against Madagascar and DR Congo before heading out to Cairo for the games.
Migne thanked President Kenyatta for ensuring that the team received full support through the National Sports Fund.
“We endeavour to represent the country well. Thank you for your support,” said the coach who leads a 27-member team for the tournament in Egypt
The President assured the team of continued support saying Kenya’s comeback to the continental tournament marks an important milestone for the country.
“A journey begins with a single step. The sports fund is the first step in ensuring that all our national teams are properly funded and supported,” said the President.
Kenya will open its campaign against Algeria on June 23 before facing neighbours Taifa Stars of Tanzania on June 27 followed by Senegal on July 1
Before qualifying for the championship, Harambee Stars played return matches against Ghana, Ethiopia and one leg away to banned Sierra Leon finishing second in qualification group C.
Sports , Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed who accompanied the team to State House said her ministry had disbursed over Ksh244 million to Football Kenya Federation to facilitate AFCON preparations.