Kenya rises two places in latest FIFA rankings

Harambee Stars during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers second-round match against Rwanda at the Nyayo National Stadium on Monday, November 15, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya national men’s football team Harambee Stars has moved up two places in the latest FIFA rankings following the second round of African World Cup Qualifiers. 

Kenya beat Rwanda 2-1 on Monday in a match staged at the Nyayo National Stadium to finish third in Group E with six points.

This is after losing to Mali 1-0 on October 10, followed by a 0-0 draw against neighbours Uganda, leaving the West Africans advancing to the playoff round.

According to the latest rankings released on November 19, Kenya is now at position 102 with 1202.26 points, an additional 13.02 points.

This makes Kenya the 22nd best-ranked team in the continent, with Senegal leading the pack with 1561.68 points – 20th best in the world.

Top 10 worldwide FIFA Ranking [Courtesy]

Harambee Stars coach Firat leaves

Coach Engin Firat on Tuesday left the country for Turkey as speculations continue to arise surrounding his job, which will expire on Friday.

This comes even after expressing interest that he would want to extend his stay with the national team.

According to Football Kenya Federation Communication Director Pharis Kumaru, Firat left early in the morning and will be following closely on the decision of the federation.

On Monday, Firat said he sees a future with the national team, adding that he would love to see through the project of rebuilding the team.

He was impressed with Stars’ performance in their last three matches of the World Cup qualifiers and admitted he would like to continue with the job.

“Anyone who has eyes can see that this team has a bright future. These boys are young; between 20 to 22 years and they will play for the next 10 years. We should focus on building for the future,” said Firat.

“It has been an amazing journey for me in Kenya football. Remember I said that if I don’t see any future, then there is no need of staying. But these boys have shown the potential and that is all a coach can ask for and therefore I am interested on staying.”

He noted that if his contract is extended, he will prioritize injecting new blood into the national team.

The FKF Caretaker Committee is expected to decide on his fate with the national team before the end of the week.

The Turkish tactician was appointed to guide the national team on a short-term basis replacing Jacob “Ghost” Mulee and the deal is set to expire on Friday.

Firat has guided Kenya in four matches, losing twice, drawing once, and winning once.

His last assignment on Monday saw Kenya defeat Rwanda 2-1 at Nyayo Stadium in what was Group E’s last World Cup qualifier match.

Stars captain Michael Olunga and Sweden-based midfielder Richard Odada were on target for Kenya in the victory.