Zico explains significance of Harambee Stars' friendly against Iran

Former Harambee Stars coach Zedekiah Zico Otieno (Photo credit: KCB FC)

FOOTBALL Zico explains significance of Harambee Stars' friendly against Iran

Festus Chuma 14:17 - 18.03.2023

Former Harambee Stars coach believes such friendlies will strengthen the national team.

For a long time, Harambee Stars have not had strong opposition to test them but former national team head coach Zedekiah Zico Otieno is confident the friendly against Iran is what Kenya needs to fine-tune players for challenging fixtures in future.

Harambee Stars will face Iran away at the Azazi Stadium in Tehran, Iran on Tuesday 28 March in what will be their first international match after over a year in the cold due to a FIFA ban.

Zico, who handled the national team between 2010 and 2011, feels that the match will give Harambee Stars a proper test as the team is nearing the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification journey.

“Iran has been in the FIFA World Cup six teams. It was there in the last three World Cups, and in Qatar, it was pooled against England, Wales and USA.

So getting such friendlies is a plus for us, and we should be celebrating. Now we need to make sure our boys are up to the challenge, and for the new coach it is also a very good opportunity for him because we want to go to the World Cup.

It is a real test for us playing a team that has been in the World Cup not only once but six times,” Zico said.

Zico is currently in-charge of KCB who have goalkeeper Bryne Omondi and defender Maurice Owino in the Harambee Stars roster.

Kenya got a friendly against Iran in the eleventh hour after the earlier one scheduled against Burundi on March 25 and 28 was cancelled.

The closest Harambee Stars came to qualification at the World Cup was in 1998, under the German coach Reinhardt Fabisch who is now deceased.

Kenya has yet to qualify for the World Cup in 13 editions participated since 1974, having featured in 74 matches, won 24, drawn 18 and lost 32.

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