NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya national Under-23 football team head coach
Francis Kimanzi is certain the country will qualify for the 2020
Kenya launch their
campaign with an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against
Mauritius on November 14, which will also serve as the
continent’s qualification competition for the Tokyo Olympics.
“It is about the
players believing in their ability to perform on the big stage,”
said Kimanzi on Wednesday.
“This team is
untested and will be launching its voyage in untested waters.
But I believe they have the talent and have shown commitment in
training, and winning against Mauritius will add impetus to
their hunger to make it on the global stage,” he continued.
Kimanzi has since
named five foreign-based players in the team that will play
against Mauritius in Nairobi on Wednesday.
duo of Jonah Ayunga and Henry Ochieng have been called up, as
well as Georgia-based Alwyn Tera. Ovella Ochieng who plays in
Sweden and U.S.-based Joseph Okumu have also been given the nod.
“I called 57 players
and they will all battle for slots in the team. I had three or
four players in each position and it gave me freedom to select
what I want. This country has talent,” said Kimanzi.
Kenya will kick off
their campaign at home on November 14, and head to Mauritius for
the return leg four days later.
The winner of the
tie will proceed to the second and third rounds, which are
scheduled to take place in March and June 2019.
Eight teams will
qualify for the quadrennial Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations
competition to be hosted by Egypt in December 2019. The top
three teams will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games