FKF official confident Starlets can qualify for 2023 World Cup
Harambee Starlets players during a recovery training session at Camp Toyoyo stadium, Jericho in Nairobi on February 28, 2020. [Photo: Stafford Ondego]

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) deputy president Doris Petra believes Harambee Starlets can still qualify for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand despite CAF handing Morocco the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations hosting rights.

Kenya had planned to submit a bid of hosting the continental showpiece that will see six teams earn a ticket to represent Africa at the World Cup only for CAF to grant the rights to Morocco last month.

The tournament was initially supposed to be held in Congo Brazzaville, but was moved to South Africa before they also withdrew from staging it forcing the continental body to look for an alternative host.

“These girls are eager to qualify for the 2023 World Cup and I think it’s achievable because they have shown determination and desire to reach that level,” said Petra on the sidelines of FKF’s Annual General Meeting at Safari Park on Saturday.

FKF official confident Starlets can qualify for 2023 World Cup
FKF Deputy President  Doris Petra during an FKF Annual General Meeting in Nairobi. Feb 6, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

“Initially, we intended to bid for the hosting of the 2022 AWCON but before the process had even been opened CAF gave the hosting rights to Morocco.

“We wanted to host it and use it as a stepping stone of qualifying for the world cup. But all the same, we are ready to compete and I believe with determination and support the girls will make it.”

Starlets were supposed to start their AWCON qualification campaign against Tanzania in April 2020, but the match was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.  

But it is evident that women’s football has shown some significant growth in the country with Kenyan players starting to attract interest from top clubs in Europe. 

FKF official confident Starlets can qualify for 2023 World Cup
Harambee Starlets assistant coaches; Jackline Akoth (L), Mary Adhiambo (C) and head coach David Ouma during a recovery training session at Camp Toyoyo stadium, Jericho in Nairobi on February 28, 2020. [Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard]

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