Kenya Kenya’s Harambee Stars to play Switzerland and Russia in friendly matches

Kenya head coach Engin Firat has confirmed plans are in the advanced stage for Harambee Stars to play build-up matches against Switzerland and Russia.

According to the 54-year-old Turkish tactician, the two European countries have already shown interest in playing against the East African nation in Nairobi next year.

“I have planned two friendly matches against Switzerland and Russia and it will be the first time in the history of Kenyan football that a European nation will be playing in Nairobi,” Firat said as quoted by People Sports.

“We are planning to have the two matches played next year, most probably when our stadium are ready, especially when we finish renovation work at Kasarani Stadium because these matches will draw huge crowds and we want them played at a stadium that can sustain the fans.”

On why a friendly against Switzerland, Firat said: “Murat Yakin, who is their head coach, is a very good friend of mine, and we come from the same country, Turkey, and when I approached him for the friendly, he did not hesitate to approve it.

“Switzerland is looking forward to playing in Kenya, and it will be a good build for both nations.”

On Russia, he said: “Russia is looking for revenge, we played them and drew, so they want to beat us, they want to play us again, they want to replay and have agreed to play us again.”

Under Firat, who took over from fired Jacob “Ghost” Mulee, Kenya have played high-profile build-up matches including the famous 2-1 victory against World Cup hosts Qatar on September 7, 2023.

Kenya then played against Russia, whom they forced to a 2-2 draw on October 15, 2023, with Anthony Akumu and Masoud Juma, scoring for Harambee Stars.

Kenya is currently participating in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, and are currently lying fourth in the six-team Group F after their recent matches played in Lilongwe, Malawi against Burundi and Ivory Coast which they drew 1-1 and 0-0 respectively.

On Thursday, Kenya dropped to position 108 in the latest world rankings released by FIFA. Kenya’s best ranking was in 2008 when FIFA positioned Kenya at 68. The lowest-ever ranking was in 2007 when the country was ranked at position 137.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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