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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Lama makes Kenya vow
Bernard Lama shaking hands with Alfred Sambu, the chairman of the Kenya Football Federation
Lama (left) will start work in August
Former France goalkeeper Bernard Lama has vowed to inject professionalism into Kenyan football.

The 43-year-old, appointed as Kenya's national team coach on Friday, is tasked with the job of leading the Harambee Stars to the 2008 Cup of Nations finals in Ghana.

Lama, who officially takes charge on 1 August, said he was aware of the tough challenge of knocking the national side into competitive shape.

They have not qualified for the Cup of Nations since 2004, with the Kenya Football Federation (KFF), coming out of a political crisis lasting over two years.

"In each country you have many problems," said Lama in Nairobi on Friday.

"But my being here is to inject professionalism into the game and help tap the talent.

"I want to help the players to forget about the problems, help them relax and give their best on the pitch.

"I know that Kenya has great inspirations and the potential to become a strong football nation and through the cooperation of the Kenyan society we will achieve.

"I know that the World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010 and there is a great chance for us as a team to qualify for this event."

A veteran of 44 French internationals, the Kenyan job is Lama's first major coaching appointment.

Lama will also select, with input from KFF officials, four local coaches that will work with him in preparing the Harambee Stars for the Nations Cup qualifiers.

Kenya play in Group Six, with Angola, Eritrea and Swaziland.


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