Wednesday May 19, 2021. 17:00
Kenya national team manager Jacob Mulee has called on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to impose standardised procedures for Covid-19 testing to curb cheating in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ).
‘Ghost’, who was unable to guide the Harambee Stars to qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after they finished third behind Egypt and Comoros in their group, insists that his team suffered at the hands of erroneous Covid-19 results.
“We fell victims during our AFCON matches against Comoros and Togo in Moroni and Lome respectively,” Mulee is quoted by Kenya’s The Star.
“Left in the hands of the host teams, the procedure is subject to manipulation with false positive and false negative reports being returned mainly to weaken the opposition.
“You remember what befell us in Togo where the federation claimed that our key striker Michael Olunga tested positive for Covid-19.
“Curiously though, Olunga tested negative in Nairobi and even flew back to Qatar and got involved in top-flight matches for Al Duhail as soon as [he] landed.”
The veteran tactician has also backed CAF’s decision to postpone the start of the group phase of 2022 WCQ matches, pushing the games back from June to September.
“Postponing the matches to September was a good idea. Teams now have sufficient time to prepare for Africa World Cup qualifiers,” he explained.
“I welcome the whole idea considering our league was halted in March and our local-based players had not been active until last Friday when competition resumed.
“They now have a chance to shake off the rust and I also have an opportunity to monitor and gauge their performance in league encounters ahead of the qualifiers.”
Kenya are set to open their Group E campaign in the WCQ with matches against regional rivals Uganda (home) and Rwanda (away) in September.