Harambee Stars History
Kenya, like many other nations in the continent at the moment, adores football and has thrown a lot of effort behind its growth in recent years. The sport was introduced into the land during the early phase of the 20th century – and it has since grown to become a dominant sport, with the country now having its team participating in major soccer tournaments both at the continental and global levels.
Harambee Stars is the name of the Kenyan national football team. The team was officially established in 1960 and it represents the nation in international football. It is a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as well as the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations. Harambee Stars is controlled by Kenya’s football governing body, Football Kenya Federation.
The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is the body that controls all football-related activities in Kenya. The Federation was founded in 2011 to replace the former association, the Football Kenya Limited (FKL) after the latter was disbanded for wanting to cease being a Limited Company.
In 2012, the FKF gained recognition from CAF, CECAFA, and FIFA as Kenya’s official football association and ever since, the organization has been responsible for the coordination of the Kenyan Premier League, the Kenyan Women’s Premier League, the FKF Division One as well as taking charge of the affairs that have to do with the Kenyan national football team, the Harambee Stars.
Harambee Stars Records
Although the Harambee Stars are not among the top international football teams out there in the world at the moment, they hold a handful of noteworthy records. To start with, on their first appearance on the international stage, the team played out a 1-1 draw against African neighbours, Uganda on May 1, 1926.
Since then, they have moved forward and played numerous matches, with their biggest victory coming on October 4, 1961, when they defeated Zanzibar 10-0 in Nairobi. In the same venue, the team suffered its biggest defeat - a 12-2 humiliation at the hands of Ghana on December 12, 1965.
The Harambee Stars debuted in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 1972 and also entered the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the first time in 1974. The team has participated in the AFCON on six occasions but are yet to qualify for the World Cup.
Trophies and Awards
The Kenya National Football Team has participated in several competitions, both continental as well as in the international stage. While the team cannot be rated as being very successful national side in world football, they have a few honours and awards in its cabinet.
The Harambee Stars won their first major honour in 1975, when they claimed the East and Central African Championship. (CECAFA), going on to win the competition four more times in the future. They have won the Challenge Cup twice; in 1967 and 1971. Other honours include the Coupe de l’Ocean Indien, which they claimed in 1981 as well as 12 Gossage Cups won between 1926 and 1966.
Harambee StarsFan Following
There is no official account for the total number of football fans supporting the Kenya national team at the moment. However, the team is believed to have a lot of followers from within the country. Kenya is one of the most populated nations in the CECAFA division, with an estimated population of 49.7 million. Moreover, it is believed that about 40 per cent of the citizens support the team while a few Kenyans in the diaspora also closely follow the Harambee Stars.
Other Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Kenyan Football
1. How many times has Kenya qualified for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON)?
The Harambee Stars have qualified for the AFCON on five occasions. The team made their maiden appearance in the continental tournament in 1972, with their last appearance came in 2019 in Egypt.
2. Where was football first played in Kenya?
There’s no sound documentation on where football was first played in Kenya. However, the traceable and officially recognized record shows that the first official match in Kenya took place in the capital city, Nairobi. That was the nation’s first official football match against Uganda in 1926.
3. How many trophies has Kenya won so far?
The Kenyan national team can boast a total 20 trophies. The team won two Challenge Cups, one Coup de l’Ocean Indien, five CECAFA Championships as well as 12 Gossage Cups.
4. Who is the highest goalscorer in Harambee Stars’ history?
Japanese club, Kashiwa Reysol’s forward, Michael Olunga is currently the highest goalscorer for the Kenyan national team. The attacker achieved the feat when he scored twice as Kenya defeated Tanzania 3-2 during the AFCON in 2019. He has a total of 18 goals to his name and he is still active with the team.