Kenyan player dumbs football to join military
Harambee Starlets of Kenya striker, Neddy Atieno has left the senior national women team to join her country’s military.
The player could miss next month’s African Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The 24-year old helped the Harambee Starlets to book a place in their first ever continental showpiece and the 2016 Cecafa Women’s Championship final.
She told Goal that it was a tough decision to turn down the offer of joining the Kenya Defence Forces.
She said, “I’ve resumed with the military. I must say it was a tough decision for me.
“The offers had come twice before now and I turned them down but this time I could not ignore the chance.
“I initially had an offer of scholarship abroad and chance to play football too which did not work out. Another chance was playing in a top club in Nigeria but it failed too but I never gave up.
“This time, the opportunity to join the military came and I had to grab it with my full hands though had dreams to play in the Cup of Nations.
“But after discussing extensively and making several consolations, I resolved to accept joining the military.
“I have no regret taking the decision because I believe it is a great honour for any citizen to join the military.
“And I will be serving my country, even though not going to be wearing the national team jersey.
“I’m very happy also contributing my best as a footballer and really appreciate everyone who has been part of my career progress.
“For the Cup of Nations, I wish my teammates the very best as you take on the continent in Cameroon.
“I believe they can do it with or without me. I will surely be praying for their successful outing as they compete on the continent.
“I haven’t quit playing football but I have just taken a short break and I will be back soon.
“And thanks so much my fans for respecting and supporting my decision. All I want is your prayers which will make me strong.”