NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s national women’s football team is aiming
to conquer the African continent and be among its three
representatives to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa says despite short
notice, the team will be well prepared for the Africa Women’s
Nations Cup (AWCON), which starts in Ghana on November 17.
Speaking in Nairobi,
Mwendwa said the success of the national team would give the
local women’s league the impetus it needs to help it flourish.
Kenya have a budget
of 480,000 U.S. dollars for the two-week competition, which
includes friendly matches against Uganda and Ghana.
“I have high hopes
for this team. The focus for us is to qualify for the women’s
FIFA World Cup,” said Mwendwa on Monday in Nairobi.
“This team continues
to smash the glass ceiling. In 2016, we made our first showing
at the AWCON and now, two years later, our targets have grown
and we are eyeing qualification for the World Cup.”
Kenyan fans are
optimistic that the squad, led by coach David Ouma, will be
going to Ghana to make amends for previous mistakes, after
losing all three of its preliminary matches in the 2016
tournament in Cameroon, going down 4-0 to Nigeria and 3-1 to
both Ghana and Mali.
“The Uganda friendly
is confirmed and we will also play Ghana in Nairobi on November
7 before heading to the AWCON finals,” he said.
In this year’s
event, Kenya will be up against defending champions Nigeria,
South Africa and Zambia. The Harambee Starlets launch their
campaign against Zambia on November 18, then face South Africa
three days later before finishing off against Nigeria on
who were champions in 2008 and 2012, will not play in this
year’s competition after being disqualified for fielding an
ineligible player during their qualifying win over Kenya.
The Kenya team is
currently at a training camp in Nairobi with a provisional squad
of 32, of which six play their club football overseas.
Teresha Engesha, Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula all play in
Sweden, while Marjolene Nekesa plays in the USA and Esse Akida
turns out for an Israeli side.
The final 24-player
squad to make the trip to Ghana will be announced next week.