Kenya not CECAFA favorites from FIFA ranking perspective
Kenya faces an uphill task in their quest to clinch the forthcoming CECAFA Challenge Cup with three of the nine visiting countries ranked higher than the Harambee Stars by world governing body FIFA.
Defending champions Uganda are placed 74th globally; while Kenyans sit 111th overall having dropped a further nine places down the pecking order according to Thursday’s release published by FIFA.
Invited guests Libya and Zimbabwe, are at 77 and 103 respectively, still way above the hosts.
However, Kenya stands better than Rwanda (120), Burundi (138) and Tanzania tucked at 142. Ethiopia is 34 places below Kenya at 145, while lowest ranked country in the region South Sudan is at 152.
Another CECAFA member Zanzibar are not in the FIFA rankings, as they play under the umbrella of Tanzania in FIFA matches.
Despite FIFA’s reflection the football standards, and the unfamiliarity of the new coach with the team, Football Kenya Federation Nick Mwendwa expects nothing but ‘Stars triumph.
“Even before Put came on board, our target was to win this year’s edition. We therefore expect his presence to be a boost towards our goal.
“However, he(Put) has set his sight on the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and Qatar 2022 (World Cup) as you heard him say, but the journey starts now,” Mwendwa told journalists in a recent briefing.
The Stars won the 2013 and 37th edition hosted at home, then led by Belgian Adel Amrouche by beating Sudan 2-0 in the final staged at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Meanwhile, squads for various countries set to feature have been released; following Kenya’s all local based team.
Preparations continue despite uncertainty of the venues for the tournament, only nine days to the kick-off, following suggestion of withdrawing from Kisumu with the organisers citing security concerns.
It is however unconfirmed conclusively that Kisumu will not host, as assessment of the political situation continues.
Goalkeepers – Ruhundo Onesime, Nahimana Jonathan, Mutombolo Fabien
Defenders – Moussa Omar, Nshirimana David, Ndoriyobija Eric, Harerimana Rashid Leon, Barisinze Nassor, Ndukumana Tresor, Mwendebantu John, Kamana Ismael
Midfielders – Kwizera Pierre, Dudayinavyi Gael, Urasenga Cedrick, Ndayishimiye Youssouf, Nahimana Shasiri, Hererimana Moussa, Ndikumana Moussa.
Strikers – Abdoul Fiston, Moussa Mossi, Shabani Hussein, Shaka Bievienue, Mavugo Laudit, Slim Saidi, Iddy Muselemu.
Goalkeepers – Aishi Manula and Peter Manyika
Defenders – Boniphace Mganga, Gadiel Micheal, Kelvin Yondai, Erasto Nyoni, Mohammed Hussein and Kenny Wilson
Midfielders – Himid Mao, Mahims Abdullah, Mzamiru Yassin, Raphael David, Jonas Mkude, Shixa Kichuya, Ibrahim Ajiba and Abdul Hilal
Strikers – Elias Maghuli, Mbaraka Yusuph, Yohana Mkomola and Daniel Lyanga
Harambee Stars Squad:
Goalkeepers – Boniface, Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Gabriel Andika (AFC Leopards), Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers)
Defenders– Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Charles Momanyi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Dennis Shikhayi (AFC Leopards), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia), Wellington Ochieng (Gor Mahia), Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United), Omar Mbongi (Ulinzi Stars)
Midfielders –Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Whyvonne Issuza (AFC Leopards), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Ovellah Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks), Lawrence Juma (Nzoia Sugar)
Strikers–Samuel Onyango (Ulinzi Stars), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt), George Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Vincent Oburu (AFC Leopards), Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars), Benjamin Mosha (Sony Sugar)
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