In Summary

  • Kenya makes a return to international football after the ban.
  • Kenya in a tough pool to face Ivory Coast amongst others.
  • World Cup to feature a record nine teams from Africa, increasing its chances of performing better.

Kenya’s Harambee stars makes a return to international football after the ban and will face Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi and Seychelles in the World Cup qualifiers.

Kenya faces Ivory Coast in their qualification matches which proves a tough duel. Besides Ivory Coast, Gabon is equally a tough team to beat.

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Kenya has to put her best performance going by the past friendly matches outcomes that saw them lose to Mauritius 1-0.

The new format

The new format now pools 54 nations divided into nine groups. The winners of the groups advance to the World Cup 2026 automatically. The 23rd World Cup edition will be held jointly in United States, Mexico and Canada. It will revolve around 16 cities forming the circuit.

With the number of teams expanding from 32 in Qatar to 48 in North and Central America. Africa is guaranteed a record nine places in the World Cup which increases its chances of performing better in the tournament.

The best performance by an African team in the FIFA World Cup was in 2022 that saw Morocco finish 4th after beating Portugal 1-0. It also becomes the first Arab country to qualify for the Semifinals in the tournament.

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Pooling

The pooling was announced on Thursday night which saw Kenya in one of the toughest qualifications challenges ever.

Winners representing each group will qualify automatically with the best four runners up entering play offs.

Match days one and two will be played this November, with a further two rounds next year and six in 2025.

The Ivory Coast team has qualified for the World Cup final three times in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

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