Harambee Stars to face Iran in an international friendly

The news was confirmed by Football Kenya Federation chief executive officer, Barry Otieno.

Piece by: Tony Mballa

• The FKF boss said they would deploy every resource at their disposal to help Kenya qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations.

Harambee stars playesr

Kenya's national team, Harambee Stars, will flex muscles with Iran in an international friendly on March 28, Football Kenya Federation chief executive officer, Barry Otieno has confirmed.

Stars will travel to Tehran for the match as they make their comeback to the international stage after being banned by the world football governing body, Fifa, in February of last year.

Otieno has urged Kenyans to rejoice over the national team's return after a year away, adding that the friendly will be the ideal chance for them to freshen up after getting rusty from inactivity.

“On March 28, the Harambee Stars return to the pitch for the first time in over a year. This is a big moment for Kenya. I expect a great match and urge all Kenyans to rally behind the team so that we can move forward together," Otieno remarked.

The FKF boss said they would deploy every resource at their disposal to help Kenya qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations.

National team head coach Engin Firat welcomed the fixture, saying Iran will provide a good test for Kenya.

“Iran is a World Cup nation and is ranked 24th in the world. Playing them in our first match back after suspension will help us assess where we are which is the first step in rebuilding the team and working our way to a high level of competitiveness," Firat said.

Firat, 52, said the team will require more international friendlies to develop a winning strategy ahead of crunch international assignments.

“It is important to keep the team engaged and to keep working so that we can play at a good level when we return.”

The Turkish gaffer revealed he will name the provisional squad on Thursday morning, before the start of a residential training camp on March 19.

Firat said he is compiling a stellar roster of players who will don the national colours in future assignments, pledging to introduce a few unexpected call-ups from overseas leagues.

The Turkish gaffer stated he had so far identified five players with foreign addresses who had shown the potential to ply trade on the international stage.

"In the next few days, we will have finished the process and released the names," Firat said.

“I have some surprise call-ups this time around. In total and for the long term I am looking to work with five foreign-based players who have never featured for the country in any assignment," he added.

 Kariobangi Sharks head coach William Muluya has been officially named Firat's assistant with Ken Odhiambo, a former head coach of Sofapaka, also being added to the technical bench in a similar capacity.

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