All the best Team Kenya

All the best Team Kenya

Kenya’s good run in the 2024 Fifa Under-17 Women World Cup qualifiers is testament to the potential the country has in producing top football talent.

Kenya Under-17 women’s team, popularly known as Junior Starlets, is on the cusp of qualifying for the tournament after sailing through three stages of qualification.

The team, which is all but assured of qualifying for the global tournament, plays Burundi in the return fixture of the fourth round of the qualifiers at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi from 3pm today.

Junior Starlets put one foot in the global tournament when they thrashed Burundi 3-0 in the first leg of the fixture on June 8 at Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa.

Should they qualify, Junior Starlets will join two other Africa nations at the global tournament which will be played from October 16 to November 3 this year in the Dominican Republic.

Kenya got a bye in the first round, and the country’s opponents in the second round, the Democratic Republic of Congo, withdrew from the tournament without kicking a ball. In the third round, Kenya beat Ethiopia 3-0 on aggregate last month.

Should they reach the 2024 Fifa Under-17 Women World Cup, Junior Starlets will become the first Kenyan football team to qualify for the global showpiece.

The team’s success is a clear manifestation that women can thrive in sports if well supported. The national women’s volleyball team, the men’s cricket team and Kenya Sevens rugby team are the only teams to have qualified for the global stage of their respective competitions.

Junior Starlets’ steady rise should spur the development of women’s football in particular, and local sports in general. It shows that, with proper development structures and support at junior level, Kenyan players can match the best in Africa, and play at the highest level. We wish the team the best of luck.