The federation boss reveals the national team will launch preparations for upcoming qualifiers two weeks after the top-flight starts
The Football Kenya Federation has confirmed the national team will move to camp on May 27 to start preparations for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.
The team’s preparations had suffered uncertainty after the government’s ban on sporting activities owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the federation to stop the FKF Premier League until further notice.
However, President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed on Saturday the suspension on sporting activities had been lifted but maintained action can only return under strict guidelines from both the Ministries of Health and Sports.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa has since confirmed to Goal that Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s team will move to camp on May 27 to prepare for the qualifiers, where they have been pooled in Group E alongside Uganda, Mali, and Rwanda.
“We want Harambee Stars to start preparations for World Cup qualifiers on May 27, that is the date we have pencilled for the team to move to camp,” Mwendwa told Goal on Tuesday.
“We don’t have much time left, remember we were under lockdown for almost three weeks and our plan is to have the league resume on May 12, and then after two weeks of action, the coach will be able to check the fitness of players during the matches and then pick his squad.
“We have given the technical bench a period of around two weeks, between May 12 and 27, to check the fitness of players through the league action, which we have finalised plans to resume after the government gave us the green light to start.”
Before the ban was lifted, a source had hinted to Goal the FKF had mooted plans to shift the Harambee Stars training camp to a neighbouring country in readiness for the qualifiers.
“We are looking at either Uganda, Rwanda, or Tanzania as we plan to have the team move to camp and prepare adequately for the qualifiers,” the source told Goal last Wednesday.
“We are now in dilemma with the government stand on sports in the country and the best way we can get our team ready is by getting quick solutions, and the first option we are looking at is to assemble the squad and have them camp in one of the neighbouring country.
“We hope the government stand will be softened and football allowed to return as we need to have our players fit and ready to play in the qualifiers.”
As per the fixtures, Kenya will play host to Uganda at Kasarani Stadium, in the opener on June 5 or 6, before travelling to face Rwanda’s Amavubi in Kigali a week later.
A double-header fixture against Mali is set for Bamako and Nairobi between September 3 and 8, before the rematches against Uganda in Kampala and Rwanda in Nairobi in October.