•The Cabinet secretary noted that with the right investment and planning coupled with talent development, the nation can qualify for football's biggest extravaganza.
•Namwamba outlined his vision for Kenyan sports in the next few weeks which he said would be a strategy to spot and develop talent in the country.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba hopes Harambee Stars can qualify for the Fifa World Cup in 2030.
The Cabinet secretary noted that with the right investment and planning coupled with talent development, the nation can qualify for football's biggest extravaganza.
“We have a vision for 2030 that at the bare minimum, Kenya must participate in the World Cup in 2030. If we can make it to the 2026 World Cup, that would be great but we are being realistic that with the right investment and planning, we can get Harambee Stars to the World Cup in 2030,” he said.
Namwamba outlined his vision for Kenyan sports in the next few weeks which he said would be a strategy to spot and develop talent in the country.
“We are very keen on developing a program for talent spotting and development. You are going to see a lot of work going on around the Kenya Academy of Sports. Very soon I will be inviting you to a mega launch of a programme on how to spot and develop talent,”he said.
He asked Football Kenya Federation to clean their house, be accountable and uplift football standards in this country.
“During my discussions with Fifa and Caf leadership, I told them that Kenyan football actually may be at its lowest level ever and we have a big job and responsibility to lift the game back to a better place,” he added
Namwamba said he will meet the FKF executive this week to discuss the way forward after the country missed out on the international scene the last year.
“I will meet the FKF leadership this week to see how we can recover the lost time for the Stars and our other football teams," he added.
Harambee Stars missed out on qualification to the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers while Starlets failed to honour the Africa Women's Nations Cup, which had a ticket for Fifa World Cup.
Meanwhile, former football administrator Twaha Mbarak has congratulated Sports CS Namwamba for successfully convincing Fifa to lift the ban.
“This will re-open the windows of opportunity for many stakeholders who earned their livelihood through football," Mbarak said.
Mbarak, who is among thousands of football fans currently gracing the Fifa World Cup in Qatar, expressed regret that some of the Kenyan referees who were qualified to officiate in the World Cup missed out on the opportunity because of the ban.
“That should never happen again in the future. It's so discouraging," Mbarak said. However, he was very categorical that integrity, transparency, accountability, and the rule of law should never be compromised," Mbarak said.
He added: “I urge Hon. Namwamba to conclude the good work initiated by his predecessor, Ambassador Amina Mohamed to protect the integrity of our game and restore sanity and compliance to the rule of law by providing a lasting solution to the confusion witnessed in Kenya after every four years."
“Our country has witnessed over ten caretaker committees by now and if the order is not enforced, then more confusion will be witnessed, worsening the already bad situation of the game," Mbarak said.