FKF Premier League giants face lower league teams in the FKF Cup, eyeing the title and CAF Confederation Cup qualification.
Three Football Kenya Federation Premier League sides are set to commence their quest for domestic glory and a chance to represent Kenya in the prestigious CAF Confederation Cup, starting this weekend in the preliminary rounds of the FKF Cup.
This knockout tournament is renowned for pitting David against Goliath, as top-tier teams lock horns with ambitious squads from the lower leagues.
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The preliminary round features six riveting matchups across various venues nationwide.
The triumphant teams will advance to join 26 others in the Round of 32, setting their sights on clinching the FKF Cup and securing a spot in the next season's CAF Confederation Cup.
Among the contenders, defending champions Kakamega Homeboyz have already secured their spot in the Round of 32, set to commence their title defense on February 24 against Solian City, an FKF Division Two side.
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Pitso Mosimane will manage a club that is in Cristiano Ronaldo's Saudi Pro League and has been tasked with trying to steer the club away from relegation to keep them in the league next season.
The Football Kenya Federation Premier League will be represented by Posta Rangers, Kenya Police, FC Talanta, and Bandari in the preliminary round.
These powerhouses are gearing up to face VEGPRO, Wisdom Academy, Marafiki, and Bungoma Stars, respectively.
Notably, Bandari, the 2019 domestic cup champions, will be leaning on their experienced winger Abdallah Hassan, a holdover from their triumphant squad, to recreate their past success.
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The Rwandese international reportedly underwent a medical on Wednesday at AFC Leopards after training with the club for two weeks.
Kenya Police's tactician, Salim Babu, emphasized the significance of the competition, acknowledging it as a pathway to continental football.
Babu intends to leverage the tournament to offer playing time to squad members who have been less active in the league, aiming for a harmonious balance between their league and cup ambitions.
“This competition is crucial for us. It offers an alternative route to continental football and we intend to utilize it fully. We will be rotating our squad to ensure every player gets a chance to prove their worth,” Babu told reporters.
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Victor Wanyama made a witty comment on a Spanish journalist's tweet advising him to leave athletics for Kenyans and focus on his career instead.
The National Super League side Luanda Villa, currently holding the eighth position with 24 points after 17 matches, are looking to make their mark and challenge the status quo when they face Al Azizia at the iconic Kinoru Stadium in Meru County on Sunday.
Reflecting the high stakes and the allure of the tournament, the financial rewards are substantial, with the winners pocketing Sh2 million, followed by Sh1 million for the runners-up, and substantial sums for the third and fourth-placed teams.
FKF Cup preliminary round fixtures
VEGPRO v Kenya Police (Longonot Horticulture, Naivasha)
Wisdom Academy v Posta Rangers (Ndura Sports Complex, Kitale)
Al Aziza v FC Luanda Villa (Kinoru Meru)
Eldoro Sports Club Villa v Mombasa Stars (Wundanyi, Taita Taveta)
Marafiki v FC Talanta (Kinunga, Nyeri)
Bungoma Stars v Bandari (Sudi, Bungoma)