Stars of Kenya will begin life without Paul Put with two proposed international
friendly matches against Gambia’s Scorpions and Comoros on March 24th and 26th
away in Morocco, Sports Journalist Alieu Ceesay has gathered. The two
friendlies will take place during the Fifa week break.
The Football Kenya Federation, as gathered by this reporter, has written to The Gambia Football Federation requesting for the test game. The GFF Technical Committee will sit over the request for approval or otherwise.
Kenya were initially lined up to play Ghana in a 2019 African Cup of Nations preliminary match in March but the match was shelved following request by the African teams featuring in the World Cup to have the Fifa breaks. The teams noted that the break would give them adequate time to prepare for World Cup competition.
In the proposed first fixture, Harambee Stars will play Comoros on March 24 before taking on Gambia two days later. The friendlies will be the Kenyan national team’s first competitive match after winning the Cecafa Senior Challenge in December and will mark the return of Stanley Okumbi as the head coach following the departure of Belgian Paul Put, who quit his coaching roles citing personal reasons.
The matches are viewed as a platform to redeem Kenya’s sinking global ranking, where the East African country sits 106 on the Fifa standings. Kenya tackled Comoros in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and won the home tie 1-0 at Nyayo Stadium before drawing one-all in the return match.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chief executive officer, Robert Muthomi confirmed the development on the federation’s official website on Thursday.
“We are happy to have secured the two friendlies as part of our build-up matches ahead of our 2019 Afcon qualifiers against Ghana. We feel the matches will not only provide the technical bench with the much-needed opportunity to assess the players but will also keep the national team active during the upcoming Fifa international week.”
In the recent International friendlies played in late 2017, Kenya lost 2-1 to Iraq in Basra and 1-0 to Thailand in Bangkok.