Kenya beat Tanzania to lift gold as Canada intensify preparations for 2026 Fifa World Cup

Kenyan players celebrate after beating Tanzania in the inaugural Pamoja Soccer Tournament in Brampton, Ontario, Canada at the weekend. [Kenyan Canadian Association]

Toronto and Vancouver are among the cities that will host the prestigious 2026 Fifa World Cup to be jointly held by Canada, Mexico and the United States of America.

In order to intensify preparations for the global football extravaganza in Canada, Toronto is already hosting various soccer tournaments and events to create awareness about the epic Fifa World Cup.

One of such high-profile contests is the Pamoja Soccer Tournament that has just concluded in the City of Brampton in Ontario Province. 

Kenyan side Wazalendo FC beat Tanzania’s Zan Heroes FC 4-3 in the final to lift gold in the inaugural tournament staged at the SaveMax Sports Centre.

Those who found the back of the net for Kenya were Ayub Moses (brace), Captain Isaac Onyango and Richard Nene. 

Ayub also won the Golden Boot Award as Nene went home with the Most Valuable Player Award. The Golden Glove Award went to Anwar Suleiman of Tanzania.

In the third place playoff, Uganda beat Ivory Coast 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller that kept the spectators at the edge of their seats to lift bronze.

The tournament, organized by the Kenyan Canadian Association, also promoted Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing. It was supported by the Ontario Youth Wellness Grant.

“It was such a good tournament, we are proud of our victory, I want to thank the Kenyan Canadian Association for the good work and to all the teams that participated,” Onyango told Standard Sports.

Even though Tanzania skipper Ali Faki rued their missed chances in the final, he was proud for giving the Kenyans a run for their money.

“It was hard luck on our side, but to be honest we really enjoyed the competition, there’s always next time,” Faki stated.

While savoring their third-place finish, Uganda captain Alex Kabwama stated: “So far it stands out to be a great tournament, so competitive with high intensity, I can’t wait for the next contest!”

Kenyan Canadian Association President and Executive Director, Ephraim Mwaura said the tournament will be expanded to include 12 countries next year. Toronto is one of the most unprecedentedly diverse cities in the world. 

"There is a huge number of talented youths in the black community, but there is an acute scarcity of requisite resources to nurture the talent at the club level.

“The youth derive huge benefits by engaging in a sport like soccer. We hope that this initiative will get support from the Government as well as donors and corporate sponsors.

“Kenyan Canadian Association is ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure this initiative is sustainable.

“We urge Sport Canada to support the black youth by funding the Soccer Clubs. Our sports and recreation program will continue to collaborate with sport clubs across Canada to build their capacity,” Mwaura underlined.

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