The highly anticipated return to International football for Harambee Stars took a turn when Burundi announced they will be playing in Indonesia.
The friendly match between Harambee Stars and Burundi will not happen as planned but Kenya will still return to International football this month after a long hiatus. According to the Indonesian press, the Indonesian Football Federation, and a source within the Burundi Football Federation, Indonesia would play Burundi, and they would be travelling to the Asian country.
Due to the then-FIFA suspension, Harambee Stars was not included in this month’s qualifications for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which would have seen Kenya and Burundi play each other.
However, this has not deterred the will to return to International football after close to 18 months as Harambee Stars Head Coach Engin Firat says, “Iran is a World Cup nation and is ranked 24th in the world. Playing them in our first match back after suspension will help us assess where we are which is the first step in rebuilding the team and working our way to a high level of competitiveness.”
Before a residential training camp begins on March 19, the Turkish coach announced he will unveil the squad on Thursday morning. Earlier, the Head Coach had announced plans to introduce five players in foreign leagues as he works on boosting the squad and engaging the team in friendlies ahead of international assignments, “It is important to keep the team engaged and to keep working so that we can play at a good level when we return.”
Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya is officially Firat’s assistant with Ken Odhiambo, a former Sofapaka head coach, also on the technical bench.
Football Kenya Federation chief executive officer, Barry Otieno confirmed the Iran fixture adding, “On March 28, the Harambee Stars return to the pitch for the first time in over a year. This is a big moment for Kenya. I expect a great match and urge all Kenyans to rally behind the team so that we can move forward together.”
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