Kenya’s Harambee Stars are set to face Russia in an International Friendly match on October 16.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has officially confirmed that the match is scheduled to take place in Antalya, Turkey, and is part of Kenya’s preparations for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. This friendly encounter with Russia occurs during a period when the nation has faced bans from FIFA and UEFA competitions.
The ban was imposed in February 2022 due to the Russian Government’s invasion of Ukraine. Consequently, Russia was excluded from participating in the World Cup in Qatar, and the ban extension also meant exclusion from the UEFA Nations League and Euro 2024.
Russian clubs were further prohibited from participating in European competitions like the Champions League. However, UEFA recently made an exception by partially lifting the ban on Russia’s under-17 teams, citing the need to avoid punishing children for decisions made by adults.
In the World Cup qualifiers, Kenya have been placed in Group F, alongside Seychelles, Burundi, Gambia, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire. The first leg of these qualifiers is scheduled to be played from November 13 to November 21.
In this competition, the group winners will secure direct qualification to the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, the four best runners-up from the groups will advance to the CAF Play-Off tournament, where the ultimate victor will earn a coveted spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.