The Harambee Stars will use the scheduled international friendly matches against Senegal on January 14 and Guinea four days later to prepare for their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo in Nairobi on February 29.
Already, Senegal’s Lions of Teranga have confirmed the match will be held at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar as they put in order their act ahead of the African Cup of Nations that kicks off on January 21 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
“We are just waiting for a few clarifications from these two teams. As a federation, we don’t mind having the matches because we will play Togo in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary round two match on February 29,” said Football Kenya Federation (FKF) acting secretary general Lodvick Aduda.
Senegal play Sudan
Senegal will kick off their preparations on Sunday and will play their first pre-tournament friendly against Sudan next week on Thursday, also in Dakar.
Equatorial Guinea and South Africa kick off a 13-fixture warm-up schedule tomorrow ahead of this month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Sudan have lined up three friendlies, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Tunisia two each and Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia one apiece.
Libya, Mali, Morocco and Niger have not informed world football governing body Fifa of any friendly fixtures they will play before the African showcase between January 21 and February 12 in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
South Africa tie to open venue
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) travel to the Equatoguinean mainland city of Bata for a match that will officially open the 40,000-seat Estadio Bata, one of four venues for the biennial championship.
South African officials say they will not award caps for the game or other friendlies at home against Zambia and Ghana because too many players called up by coach Pitso Mosimane are unavailable.
Europe-based stars like Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Steven Pienaar are ruled out because the matches do not fall on official Fifa friendly dates while several domestic clubs insist players rest during the mid-season league break.
It will be the first match in charge of Equatorial Guinea for Brazilian coach Gilson Paulo, who took over less than a month before the Cup of Nations starts after Frenchman Henri Michel resigned.
Vastly experienced African campaigner Michel, who had made progress during a year in charge of a national team ranked 42 in Africa, quit a few months earlier but officials persuaded him to carry on.
The number of warm-ups is significantly fewer than previous years when many teams indulged in frenetic schedules to try and mould individuals unused to playing together into cohesive units.
Most of the 16 challengers for the biggest prize in African football have chosen to prepare in other countries on the continent with South Africa a popular destination as Botswana, Ghana and Zambia are based there.
Ultra-modern facilities near north-west mining town Rustenburg that were used by England during the 2010 World Cup attracted Botswana and Ghana, who make up Group D with Guinea and Mali.
Zambia are staying in a hotel on the fringe of Johannesburg central business district and training at the ground of South African Premiership club BIDVest Wits. Ivory Coast, co-favourites with Ghana for the title, have opted for a Middle East countdown.