Harambee Stars will know their opponents when the draw for the first round of the CAF qualifiers for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia is conducted on Saturday at St. Peterburg.
The import of the football ranking has now been revealed with Kenya ranked outside the top half of the 54-team African Confederation. They now have to negotiate a longer route to reach the finals with the possibility of playing against minnows Sao Tome and Principe, Central African Republic, Chad-Comoros, Seychelles, Gambia and Liberia, all on the cards. FKF CEO Michael Esakwa said no federation official nor from the national team will be in Russia to witness the draw.
“We will not be travelling to Russia. However, we are looking forward to know which team we will be playing against. As a federation, we don’t have an opponent that we feel will be a good draw. We are solely focused on ensuring our preparations are timely and up to scratch so that we give Stars the chance of proceeding to the next round regardless of the ranking or football history of the nation we will be paired against,” he explained.
The FKF secretary general disclosed that they were in constant communication with Stars coach Bobby Williamson and his technical bench to formulate a working schedule and also discuss the way forward. ” We want to ensure the national team is solely focused on getting results when the Afcon qualifiers resume with a home match on September 6 and now the preliminary round of the World Cup qualifiers that kicks off in mid October. As a federation we are sparing no effort to ensure Stars get the best possible preparations,” he added.