Kenya's National football team: players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Kenya's National football team: players, coach, world rankings, nickname

Helix Odhiambo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:54 PM

Football is one of the most popular sports in Kenya, attracting millions of followers from across the country. The nation has produced famous figures in world football, including Victor Wanyama, McDonald Maringa and Michael Olunga, who have made a mark in the team.

Kenya National football team
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The team, also known as Harambee Stars, has represented Kenya in various international competitions and won several titles. So, what is Kenya's national football team ranking in the world? This article has all of that and much more!

Profile Summary

  • Full name: Kenya National Football Team
  • Nickname: Harambee Stars
  • Managed by: Football Kenya Federation
  • Founded: 1960
  • Colours: Red
  • Federation: CAF
  • Coach: Engin Firat
  • Captain: Michael Olunga
  • Trophies: 20
  • FIFA ranking: 102 (as of December 2021)
  • Stadiums: Nyayo National Stadium, Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani


Is soccer popular in Kenya?
Robert Mambo (L) of Kenya with teammate Mariga McDonald (R) fight for the ball against Guinea's Pascal Feindouno on 7 June 2008 at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi. Photo: Simon Maina
Source: Getty Images

Football was introduced in Kenya in the early 20th century and has since grown into a popular sport. The Football Kenya Federation controls all football related activities in Kenya.

AFCON campaign

Kenya has played in six African Cup of Nations but never progressed to the competition's knockout stage. The team made its AFCON debut in 1972, grouped with hosts Cameroon, Mali and Togo in Group A. Harambee Stars lost 2-1 to the hosts and drew 1-1 with Mali and Togo, finishing third.

Did Kenya play in Afcon 2021?

Kenya national football team players, coach, world rankings, nickname
Kenyan players applaud the fans after beating Ethiopia 3-0 in the 2019 Afcon qualifier match Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi. Photo: @officialharambeestars
Source: Facebook

Harambee Stars failed to qualify for the 2021 edition of the continental showpiece after finishing third in their qualifying group consisting of Egypt, Comoros and Togo. As a result, Kenya's last appearance in the AFCON competition was in 2019.

World Cup campaign

Although Kenya has not played in any World Cup tournament, they have featured in several qualifying campaigns. In 1974, the country featured in its first FIFA World Cup qualifiers but lost to Zambia in the third round.

Kenya's National football team trophies

Kenya national football team roster
Harambee Stars players celebrate winning the 2013 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup. The Stars beat Sudan 2-0 in the final held at the Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi. Photo: @AminahBabirye
Source: Twitter

Kenya's first international honours came in 1975 when they won the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup. Other titles include Coupe de l'Ocean Indien, the Challenge Cup and the Gossage Cup.

  • CECAFA (Four times) – 1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2013
  • Challenge Cup (twice) – 1967, 1971
  • Coupe de l’Ocean Indien (twice) – 1981
  • Gossage Cup (12 times)

Kenya's National football team players

Who is Kenya's national football team captain? Harambee Stars squad from 2021 consisted of many talents, with the majority plying their trade in the domestic league, the Kenya Premier League.

Currently, the team is captained by their towering striker, Michael Olunga, who plays for Al-Duhail Doha in Qatar. Olunga scooped the 2021 AFC Champions League top scorer, becoming the first Kenyan to win the prestigious award.


  • Brian Bwire – Tusker FC
  • Adisa Omar – Bidco United Thika
  • Ian Otieno – Zesco United Ndola
  • James Saruni – Ulinzi Stars
  • Faruk Shikhalo – Young Africans Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania


  • Nahashon Alembi (centre-back) – KCB
  • Eugene Asike (centre-back) – Tusker FC
  • Baraka Badi (right-back) – KCB
  • Mike Kibwage (centre-back) – Sofapaka
  • Musa Mohammed (centre-back) – Police FC Karuturi
  • David Ochieng (centre-back) – Mathare United
  • Joseph Okumu (centre-back) – KAA Gent, Belgium
  • Aboud Omar (centre-back) – AE Larissa, Greece
  • Johnstone Omurwa (centre-back) – Wazito
  • Joash Onyango (centre-back) – Simba SC Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
  • Clyde Senaji (centre-back) – Tusker FC
  • Boniface Onyango (left-back) – Kariobangi Sharks
  • James Mazembe (left-back) – Kariobangi Sharks
  • Erick Ouma (left-back) – AIK Solna, Sweden
  • David Owino (left-back) – KCB Nairobi
  • Harun Mwale (left-back) – Ulinzi Stars
  • Daniel Sakari (right-back) – Kariobangi Sharks


  • Hassan Abdallah (Right Midfielder) – Bandari
  • Eric Johanna Omondi (Attacking Midfielder) – Jönköpings Södra IF, Sweden
  • Clifton Miheso (winger) – Gor Mahia Nairobi
  • Boniface Muchiri (Attacking Midfielder) – Tusker FC
  • Kenneth Muguna (Attacking Midfielder) – Gor Mahia
  • Cliff Nyakeya (Attacking Midfielder) – Masr Football Club, Egypt
  • Teddy Akumu (Defensive Midfielder) – Kaizer Chiefs Soweto, South Africa
  • Amos Nondi (Defensive Midfielder) – Georgia Dila Gori
  • Richard Odada (Defensive Midfielder) – Metalac Gornji Milanovac, Serbia
  • Duncan Otieno (Defensive Midfielder) – Lusaka Dynamos, Zambia
  • Alwyn Tera (Defensive Midfielder) – Ararat-Armenia Yerevan, Armenia
  • Danson Chetambe, Danson (Centre Midfielder) – Bandari
  • John Macharia (Centre Midfielder) – Gor Mahia
  • Timothy Ouma (Centre Midfielder) – Nairobi City Stars
  • Collins Sichenje (Centre Midfielder) – AFC Leopards
  • Anthony Wambani – (Centre Midfielder) – Vasalunds IF, Sweden
  • Duke Abuya (defensive midfielder) – Kenya Police FC
  • Jackson Macharia – Tusker FC
  • Michael Mutinda, Michael – KCB
  • Kevin Simiyu – Nzoia Sugar
  • Erick Zakayo – Tusker FC
  • Lawrence Juma – Without a club (former Sofapaka player)


  • Masoud Juma (centre-forward) – Difaâ El Jadida, Morocco
  • Kevin Kimani (right-winger) – Wazito FC
  • Musa Masika (right-winger) – Wazito FC
  • Henry Meja (centre-forward) – Tusker FC
  • Michael Olunga (centre-forward) – Al-Duhail Doha, Qatar
  • Samuel Onyango (left-winger) – Gor Mahia
  • Elvis Rupia (centre-forward) – Bisha FC, Saudi Arabia
  • Eric Kapaito (centre-forward) – Arba Minch, Ethiopia

Who is Kenya's highest ever goalscorer?

Who is Kenya's highest ever goalscorer?
Dennis Oliech runs with the ball during Kenya's international friendly match against South Africa at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on 09 February 2011 in Rustenburg, South Africa. Photo: Lefty Shivambu
Source: Getty Images

Former Stars striker Dennis Oliech is the leading scorer of the national team. Oliech, also known as 'The Menace', scored 34 goals in 76 matches. Skipper Michael Olunga is second with 19 goals in 46 games.

Kenya's National football team coach

Who is Harambee Stars coach? Kenya has recruited 35 coaches to manage the national team since 1960. However, on 19 September 2021, the Football Kenya Federation appointed Turkish international Engin Firat as the new coach of the national football team.

Firat coached Moldova's national team before his appointment to guide the Stars. He also managed teams in Turkey, Germany, South Korea, and Iran. His debut with the team ended in Mali's disappointing 5-0 thrashing, killing the Stars' hopes of qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Kenya's National football team world rankings

Kenya’s FIFA ranking in Africa
Harambee stars have never been ranked in the top 50 globally in the FIFA rankings. Photo: @Football_Kenya
Source: Twitter

According to the latest FIFA rankings, Kenya sits in position 102 globally with 1202.26 points. So, what is Kenya's FIFA ranking in Africa?

Harambee Stars sits in 22nd position in Africa, behind Madagascar. Kenya's best-ever FIFA ranking was in 2008 when they were placed 68th worldwide.

Although some fans are losing hope of seeing their Kenyan national football team play in a World Cup, some remain optimistic that the dream will soon come true.

READ ALSO: The top 10 richest African footballers in 2022 and their net worth recently listed the top 10 wealthiest African footballers in 2022, including their net worths. Most rich African players have retired from active on-field playing, while some are still playing.

Read all about the players, how much they have earned in their careers, where they are now and much more here!

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.