Harambee Stars land Ivory Coast in tough World qualifiers pool

Harambee Stars Richard Odada (left) and Hamari Traore of Mali during 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers return match at the Nyayo National stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Harambee Stars will have to pull up their socks if they are to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup after landing a tough group in the pooling announced on Thursday night.

Kenya have been placed in Group F where they will fight for the only direct spot in the group against Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles

Africa will have at least nine representatives in the 2026 Fifa World Cup, up from the traditional five.

CAF announced a new format for the qualifiers of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, following the decision by FIFA to increase Africa’s quota from five to nine direct tickets.

The new format will see the 54 nations divided into nine groups of six teams each.

The games will be played on a round-robin basis, and the top team from each group will earn an automatic qualification to the 2026 World Cup to be hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The qualifiers are scheduled to start in November this year, with the first match scheduled for between November 13-21.

Poolings

Group A: Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti

Group B: Senegal, Congo DR, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan, South Sudan

Group C: Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Lesotho

Group D: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Angola, Libya, Eswatini, Mauritius

Group E: Morocco, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Niger, Eritrea

Group F: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Kenya, Gambia, Burundi, Seychelles

Group G: Algeria, Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, Somalia

Group H: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, Liberia, Sao Tome

Group I: Mali, Ghana, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Comoros, Chad

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