Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has commended the three County Governments that partnered with the federation to host a successful CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup that concluded last Sunday.
Harambee Stars emerged victorious after seeing off Zanzibar 5-3 on penalties at the Machakos County Stadium, in a tournament that saw them go unbeaten.
The tournament was hosted in Machakos county, Kakamega county as well as Kisumu county, with the latter having been a doubt before the tournament kicked off, but later got the nod to host the semi finals.
The success saw Stars rise five places in the latest FIFA rankings index released yesterday, moving from 111th to position 106.
However, the development has underwhelmed football fans locally, as is still one of the worst positions Kenya has posted this year.
Earlier this year, the country was ranked at position 74 before moving down 10 places to position 84, a rather worrying trend that indicates Stars’ average position since the ranking began has been 101. This means Kenya has to post impressive performances in the African Nations Cup Qualifiers if it is to enter the top 100 bracket.
Meanwhile Stars coach Paul Put has admitted that the team will be coming up against tougher opposition in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers, as compared to the recently concluded CECAFA senior challenge cup.
Harambee Stars are due to host West African giants Ghana in their second qualifier in March, a tie the Belgian admits will be a tough test, worth of adequate preparations, with FKF outlining plans earlier this week for the Stars team to pitch camp overseas, in addition to playing international friendly matches early next year.