The FIFA World Cup trophy is currently in Kenya as it tours the world ahead of the World Cup showpiece slated for Qatar this year.


Why the country is currently suspended by FIFA from international football, the arrival of the trophy evokes memories of the past times Kenya has unsuccessfully tried to match the best in the world to make it to the World competition.


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While Kenya has been a constant participant in the World Cup Qualifiers, Pepeta looks at the first time Harambee Stars tried to join the rest of the world in participating in the World Cup.


Germany was to host the 1974 FIFA World Cup edition so the qualifiers started early with Kenya being part of the teams that participated in the qualification process that kicked off in 1972.


Stars found themselves opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over the then African champions Sudan at City Stadium with Daniel Anyanzwa scoring in the 44th minute and William Ouma adding the second in the 65th minute. Kenya advanced to the second round on 2-1 aggregate having lost 1-0 a week later in Khartoum.


Kenya also won her second round 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier with a 5-3 aggregate win over Mauritius. William Ouma scored a brace away in Mauritius with John Chore netting the other in the 3-1 first-leg win on 10 December 1972. The second leg ended 2-2 at City Stadium on 17 December 1972 with the legendary William Chege Ouma netting twice again.


Zambia however ended Kenya’s hopes with a 4-2 aggregate win over Harambee Stars on 19 August 1973. The Chipolopolo won the first leg 2-0 in Ndola, Zambia on 12 August 1973 before forcing a 2-2 stalemate in Nairobi. William Ouma and Peter Ouma were Kenya’s scorers on the day.


Kenya’s first-ever FIFA World Cup qualifier lineup versus Sudan on 16 July 1972:
James Sianga (GK), Jackson ‘Cameroun’ Aluko, Daniel ‘Controller’ Anyanzwa, Daniel ‘Arudhi’ Nicodemus, Jonathan Niva (captain), John Nyawanga, Samson ‘Nyachi Kwach’ Odore, Peter ‘Pele’ Ouma, William ‘Chege’ Ouma, Allan Thigo, Benson Waga.


Subs: Christopher Chitechi, John ‘Kacharu’ Odour


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