The football fraternity has a vision for Kenya to participate in the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.

The football fraternity has a vision for Kenya to participate in the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.

One of the most notable moves towards achieving this goal was made last year when Kenya Premier League (KPL) signed a four-and-a half year deal with leading betting firm SportPesa.
Besides the deal culminating in a title change to SportPesa Premier League, it brings on board a major sponsor of sports in this country whose projects at grass roots and national level fit well with the 2022 goal.
This year, SportPesa signed partnership deals with three English Premier League clubs, setting the stage for a series of engagements and training opportunities between the local clubs and the three clubs in a bid to improve skills and get Kenyans to think international on matters football.
The Hull, Arsenal and Southampton partnerships are an advantage to the local football fraternity as players, coaches and referees will be able to interact with top-tier English football teams.
As we speak, Hull City coaches are in the country scouting for talent. Under this project, the coaches will pick 50 top players from SPL clubs who will face Hull City players in a historic match early next year.
The match is historic since this will be the first time a Kenyan team will play an EPL club.
Earlier this year coaches from Arsenal held a week-long training session for local coaches.
See also: Harambee Stars ‘parked double-decker bus’ in Congo
A similar training by Southampton coaches is in the offing. However to get to Qatar, we must as a country seek improvements beyond coaches and players.
Proper facilities are key to adequate preparation.
To this end there is need to renovate dilapidated stadia in the country. Already, there are plans underway for further renovations at City stadium, one of the oldest stadiums in Kenya.
The involvement of the private sector in driving football development right from the grassroots level all the way to the top of the league and National team is therefore a commendable effort that should be supported.
The Harambee Stars have improved in the latest Fifa World ranking to position 85 from 91 and the new management under Nick Mwendwa has shown keenness to help Kenya qualify for the 2022 tournament.
Harambee Stars registered their first away victory under Stanley Okumbi after defeating DRC Congo 1-0 earlier in October.
Last weekend, the boys’ winning streak continued when they beat Mozambique 1-0 at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
This speaks volumes about their immense potential if they are to receive full support from both government and the private sector. The reality of our squad in the World Cup of 2022 has never looked so promising.

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