Kenyan football fans in Malawi cheer Harambee Stars against Côte d'Ivoire


Kenyan football fans at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday, June 10, 2024, before flying to Malawi to cheer Harambee Stars against Cote d’Ivoire at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on June 11, 2024.

Photo credit: Pool

Sixty Kenyan football fans have travelled to Lilongwe, Malawi, to cheer hosts Harambee Stars against Cote d’Ivoire in their fourth Group “F” match of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers at Bingu National Stadium on Tuesday.

The match will kick off at 4 pm Kenyan time on Tuesday, June 11.

Under their umbrella body - Kenya Football Fans Federation (Kefofa), 20 fans touched down at Kamuzu International Airport on Monday at around 9 am, while another 10 supporters are expected to arrive Tuesday morning.

The first batch of about 40 fans jetted into Malawi on Saturday.

Apart from paying for their tickets to Malawi, the supporters are also catering for their accommodation and meals.

“We love Harambee Stars and that is why we have sacrificed to travel to Malawi and give them support when they face the African champions. The 12th army is very important in any match, and we hope that our presence at the stadium will motivate them to perform well,” said Kefofa president Francis Liboyi.

International matches

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) was forced to seek an alternative venue for Kenya’s matches against Burundi (last Friday) and Cote d’Ivoire since no stadium in Kenya meets the standard for hosting international matches.

Due to logistical challenges, the fans failed to make it for the Stars’ match against Burundi at the same venue. The match ended 1-1.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria had promised to avail a 50-seater National Youth Service bus to ferry the fans to Lilongwe.

However, the plan was aborted at the eleventh due to bus mechanical challenges. From Nairobi to Lilongwe is 1991.3 kilometres and at least 31 hours’ drive.

Liboyi said the organisation has also sent a communication to Kenyans living in Malawi and the neighbouring countries to show up at Bingu National Stadium to cheer the team.

He said FKF will provide them with match tickets.

5000 Malawian Kwacha

Regular and VIP tickets will retail at 5000 Malawian Kwacha (about Sh368) and 20000 Malawian Kwacha (about Sh1474) respectively and will be available today outside the stadium.

Aware that a positive outcome for Kenya against the Elephants will need more than just performance on the pitch, Stars coach Engin Firat has rallied Malawians to throng the stadium and cheer Kenya.

“It is not a normal match because you don’t play against the African champions every day. I also hope that since Malawi is now our second home, the people from Malawi will help us to make a big impression in the match,” said Firat after their match against Burundi.

After three matches, Cote d'Ivoire tops the pool with nine points, three more than second-placed Gabon. Stars are third with four points, same as Burundi while Gambia are fifth with three points.

Bottom-placed Seychelles have no point.