Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will send the national football team to Brazil in hopes of inspiring them to qualify for future World Cups, presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu confirmed Friday.

Kenyatta said late Thursday he wished the team “a great trip and experience and look forward to hearing your stories when you return.” Esipisu told dpa the Harambee Stars will leave Tuesday and stay for one week to watch Argentina against Nigeria, and another uncofirmed match. The spokesman said the trip is a “personal gift” from the president, who will not use public funds. Kenyatta and his wife Margaret have pledged 120 000 dollars toward the trip, along with another 40 000 dollars from East African Breweries.

The Harambee Stars have never qualified for a World Cup. In the past, FIFA banned the team from international football due to government corruption and interference.

The suspension has since been lifted. The Harambee Stars won the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Cup in 2013.

Sapa-dpa