Interesting Facts About Harambee Starlets, Background, Coach and More
Harambee Starlets; in the African setup women are mostly associated with house chores as well as raising the kids. As a result, of the narrative women have not received as much attention as men when it comes to sports. Harambee Starlets is a perfect definition of talented young women who have been giving their level best to earn a respectable spot in the world of sports. In a nutshell, these are some of the interesting facts about one of the best Kenya’s national teams, Harambee Starlets.
Harambee Starlets Background
Harambee Starlets is the official Kenya national football team representing Kenya in all international football matches. The club is run and controlled by the Football Kenya Federation.
The team was founded in 1985 when many countries around the world had no women league or women’s national team. Despite being founded in 1985, in 1993, the Kenya Women’s Football Federation formed a composed national team that would later represent the country in numerous international competitions between 1993 and 1996.
In 1996, the club had a change of management that led to Kenya Federation Football taking over the helm of the new management. Under KFF, Starlet played their first international match in 1998 against South Africa on 22 September 1998 in Nairobi where they mercilessly landed on the visitors thrashing them 1-0. However, two days later the tables overturned and South Africa handed them a lifetime beating of 1-2 on their home ground.
After many years of struggles, the club received its breakthrough in 2006, when they brought Nairobi to a standstill after they thrashed Djibouti 7-0 in March 2006. In July of the same year, they were invited to Yaounde, Cameroon to play their national team. The unforgiving Cameroonian women ended up having no mercy for the visitors as they whipped them 4-0.
A few weeks later the Starlets invited Cameroon to Nairobi with hopes of avenging the beating. However, the guest came well prepared ready for the battle, landing on the Starlets again but this time stepping on them much harder in a 5-0 win.
In 2011, the national federation withdrew from the 2011 All Africa Games despite most of the players traveling from their particular homes to the city training camp, ready for their first match against Tanzania.
The team has been growing day by day and currently is ranked as one of the best teams in East Africa.
FIFA Suspension Strike
In 2004, FIFA suspended Kenya from all football activities for three months due to government interference which is against the rules of FIFA. However, the suspension was later lifted after the government agreed to meet the FIFA requirements.
In 2006, they received another strike after the government declined to own up to an agreement that was meant to resolve internal conflicts. The suspension didn’t have a specified duration, instead, FIFA insisted until they honor the agreement the ban will be lifted.
Harambee Starlets Management
After the restructuring of the team in 1993, Kenya Wome’s Football Federation took over the management role of the club. However, three years later in 1996, the federation was pressured by FIFA and they ended up merging with Kenya Football Federation, the federation took the management responsibility until date.
Currently, Rachael Kamweru is the chairperson of the Kenyan women’s football national.
Currently, the club is headed by former Vihiga Head Queens head coach, Alex Alumira. Alumira was appointed in January 2022 by the caretaker committee after the suspension of the FKF officials including the president Nick Mwendwa.
Harambee Starlets Achievements
The club has not achieved much as of now but with the current squad’s determination, the club will be bringing a trophy any time soon. It has never qualified for World Cup but it has qualified for the Africa Women Cup of Nations and they were eliminated in the group stages. In 2019 they won the CECAFA Women’s Championship in Tanzania.