The Kenya National team, Harambee Stars, held its first training session today, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in preparation for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Today’s training session included 13 players, including two debutants: Brian Okoth of Kenya Police and Bruce Kamau, who plays for Perth Glory in Australia.

Abud Omar, Austin Odhiambo, Kenneth Muguna, Bonphas Munyasa, Kaycie Odhiambo, Patrick Matasi, Chris Erambo, Benson Omalla, and Rooney Onyango, who all ply their trade locally, also took part in the session.

John Avire and Anthony Akumu, who are based abroad, also participated.

22 more players are expected to link up with the team before they depart for Malawi.

While speaking on the team’s composition, the coach welcomed the debutants, acknowledging that they add quality to the team.

“Adam Wilson has played for the England U18 team. Tobias Knost played for the Germany U18 team, and Bruce Kamau is experienced and at the top level. These are Kenyan players with quality and potential who deserve a chance to show us what they can offer,” said the coach.

Regarding Abud Omar and Eric Johanna’s inclusion in the team, the coach said, “I was unhappy about their discipline. Nonetheless, they know how to conduct themselves in the national team. I won’t close the door. Now they can show that they deserve to be here.”

Match Schedule

Kenya plays Burundi on June 7, 2024, before facing the reigning Africa Cup of Nations winners, Ivory Coast, on June 11, 2024.

Ahead of the crucial matches, the team shall tentatively depart for Malawi on June 2, 2024.

Despite being the home team, Harambee Stars shall play both matches at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

This move has been occasioned by the unavailability of the Nyayo National Stadium and the Kasarani Stadium, the only stadiums in Kenya provisionally approved by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to host international matches.

Both are under renovation ahead of the 2024 African Nations Championships (CHAN) and the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which Kenya shall jointly co-host alongside Tanzania and Uganda.

Tournament Format

Kenya currently sits third out of six in Group F of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, having picked up three points from the opening two matches against Gabon and Seychelles. 

Only the top team in the group, which comprises Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burundi, The Gambia, Seychelles, and Kenya, will qualify for the 48-team World Cup, which will be played across 16 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Four of the best runners-up from the nine groups will also get a lifeline in a playoff that will determine CAF’s representative in the Inter-confederation playoffs involving six teams, which will decide the last two FIFA World Cup berths.


Players in bold have checked into the camp


Patrick Matasi (Kenya Police), Byrne Odhiambo (Bandari), Boniphas Munyasa (Muranga Seal), Ian Otieno (Zesco, Zambia)


Johnstone Omurwa (Estrela, Portugal), Alphonse Omija (Dhofar-Oman), Amos Nondi (Ararat, Armenia), Brian Okoth (Kenya Police), Abud Omar (Kenya Police), Tobias Knost (SV Verl, Germany)


John Ochieng (Zanaco, Zambia), Eric Johanna (UTA, Romania), Adam Wilson (Bradford City, England), Anthony Akumu (Unattached), Kenneth Muguna (Kenya Police), Kaycie Odhiambo (AFC Leopards), Chrispine Erambo (Tusker), Rooney Onyango (Gor Mahia), Ayub Timbe (Sabail, Azeberijan), Duke Abuya (Singida, Tanzania), Bruce Kamau (Perth Glory, Australia)


John Avire (Misr El Makasa, Egypt), Austine Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Benson Omala (Gor Mahia), Elvis Rupia (Singida, Tanzania)