FKF unveils plan to have Kenya at 2026 World Cup

Thursday, February 6th, 2020 01:24 | By
FKF president Nick Mwendwa gestures during a recent function at the federation offices. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has made a long-term investment in youth structures and centres of excellence hoping for rich dividends come 2026 when the FIFA World Cup is staged in USA, Canada and Mexico.

The federation hopes that establishing teenage leagues and putting more emphasis on the Under-23 national team can finally detach Kenya from chancing on haphazard entries to tournaments and set the country into a consistent spree of qualification for the World Cup and other global and continental championships of note.

Nick Mwendwa and his administration had targeted the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to be their first major final but fate conspired to take Kenya to Egypt in 2019 when FIFA banned Sierra Leone and consequently handed Harambee Stars a golden chance to end a 15-year wait.

With just three teams fighting for two tickets, Kenya did well to beat both Ethiopia and Ghana in Nairobi to bag one of the slots.

“Our target is long-term. We want to do it the proper way by putting structures in place so that there is a steady and constant availability of playing units to serve the national team. So we are investing in the Under 13, Under15 all the way to the Olympic group of Under 23,” Mwendwa told People Sport in 2018.

FKF has gone ahead and entered the age group teams into various tournaments of international repute. His administration set Kenya on the path of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics for the first time ever although Sudan eliminated them at the penultimate stage of African qualifiers.

All the same, the federation hopes units young as current Under 13’s and 15’s will be mature well enough to lead Kenya’s charge to the FIFA World Cup in North America. 

The leagues gave birth to the U13/15 Youth Championship, whose first edition was held in 2017. The championship brought together the top performing players from eight regions across the country.

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