Interesting Facts About Harambee Stars, Coach, FIFA Suspension, Record and More

Harambee Stars is the Kenya national team representing the Republic of Kenya in international football competitions. The name ‘Harambee’ was derived from a term used in colonial eras to simplify unity.

Being the national team, it is managed and controlled by the governing body of football in Kenya as well as the Football Kenya Federation.

Harambee Stars competes under the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Council of African Football  Associations (CECAFA). However, CAF is the main organization that represents all African teams while CECAFA is a sub-confederation of CAF that has jurisdiction in East and Central Africa.

Harambee Star Head Coach

Harambee Stars
Engin Firat, Harambee Stars Coach (Photo/Courtesy)

Currently, the team is headed by Engin Firat, a Turkish football manager. Engin took the docket in 2021 after the team parted ways with Jacob Ghost Mulee who failed to qualify for AFCON. Before Jacob Mulee, Francis Kimanzi was the one holding the helm but he also under-performed and he was shown the door.

Harambe Stars FIFA World Cup Record

The Stars as they are well known entered FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the first time in 1974 after being denied participation in 1966 and 1970. However, despite their entry into the World Cup qualifiers in 1974, they have never qualified for the global stage.

During the recently concluded World qualifiers, Kenya only managed to win their final game against Rwanda but they were too late as they had already been eliminated from the tournament. Following the failed trial in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar, Kenya will have to try their lack in 2026.

Harambe Stars African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Record.

Harambee Stars

As of 2022, the national team has participated in the highly ranked African Cup of National (AFCON) tournament six times but they have never clinched the trophy even once. Harambee Stars joined the competition for the first time in 1962 but didn’t qualify for the main tournament until 1972 when they qualified for the first time.

Despite qualifying, they were eliminated in the group stage finishing in the 5th position. After that, they were out in the cold after failing to qualify thrice until 1988 when they made a comeback qualifying for the tournament three consecutive times.

However, out of the three times, they qualified they never went beyond the group stage, finishing an 8th, 8th, and 9th position consecutively.

From 1994 to 2002 the team was nowhere to be seen in the AFCON after failing to qualify in 1994 and withdrawing from the completion in 1996 and the failure continued in 1998 and 2002.

In 2004 they were back at again, managed to qualify but still remained at their usual position, group stage this time finishing at 11th place. After that, the 2004 squad the national team went missing for over a decade before bouncing back in 2019. In 2019 they did their best but passing the group stage become a mountain that can only be moved through faith.

In 2021 they failed to qualify and in 2023 they will not be participating after they were eliminated due to FIFA suspension.

Harambee Stars Facing FIFA Suspension and International bans

Harambee Stars

The national team has faced the FIFA penalty sword severally due to different misconduct. The first time they faced suspension was in 2004 when they have suspended for three months dues to government interference in football activities.

Two years down the line, FIFA smacked them with another suspension in 2006. The suspension was attracted after the team failed to honor the January 2006 agreement that was intended to resolve the problems in their football federation. According to FIFA, they were not going to lift the ban until the team honored the agreement.

In March 2022, FIFA struck them again for government interference, this was after the government replace the sitting officials and replaced them with a caretaker committee something that is unacceptable by FIFA.

Following the suspension, Harambee Stars have been disqualified for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers. According to FIFA, the suspension will not be reversed until they meet all the demands as requested by it.

Achievements and Honors

CECAFA trophy
Harambee Stars 2017 CECAFA trophy (Photo/Courtesy)

Though they have never won any major trophy, the national team has managed to win seven CECAFA Cups taking it for the first time in 1975 and then 1981, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2013, and eventually in 2017. As of 2018, the team had climbed back to the top 100 FIFA ranked nations

Harambee Stars Home Ground

At the moment the club hosts their guest at the Moi International Stadium alias Kasarani Stadium. Sometimes, their home games are played at the Nyayo Stadium.

While Harambee Stars represent the nation as a whole, we have also prepared well-drafted articles about our Kenya Premier League teams.

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