The Kenya national team has announced her return to football with a friendly over Iran scheduled for March 28, 2023 at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
The team who has been out of international duty for over a year now as a result of FIFA prolonged ban finally gets the opportunity to take part in football competitions.
This two time Afcon participants had earlier programmed a clash with Burundi, but a last minute decision of the Burudians to play Indonesia prompted the choice of 24th place Iran.
“Iran is a world-class team, ranked #1 in Asia. Playing a tough opponent is a chance to push our players to the maximum, to make them familiar with high-level football, and show the difference between where we are and where want to be,” coach Engin defends the choice of Iran
With Kenya nursing the desire to qualify for the next AFCON and the 2026 FIFA world cup, coach Engin Firat looks to use this friendly in assessing the teams current state while preparing for future endeavors.
“Playing against world-class teams frequently will help us to be ready at the important moment when we play world cup qualifiers. We can play weaker teams and get easy victories but this will not help us at the important moment.” Firat explains
In a press conference on Sunday 19 in Nairobi, the Turkish tactician tabled the lapsis in Kenya football.
“Everybody talks about the results, this is our main problem. We are far away from the reality. We need to think and on focus on things like infrastructure and youth development. As we speak we don’t have a stadium to host our home international matches. Explain to me how we are better than other countries?”
He furthers explains his willingness to work with other stake holders in rebuilding the team
“We have to work together and find solutions to our problems. Give us time to build the team. I am ready to risk to get the best formation. We are ready for the changes and nothing else, attack me if you want during qualifiers but not this time,”
A stellar rooster of 30 players have been in camp since March 17 with a host of international stars joining them by March 21.Kenya travels to Tehran on March 26.
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