The national team Harambee Stars international calendar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup African qualifying matches has been adjusted by Confederation African Football (CAF) due to surging effects of COVID-19.

The race to Qatar 2022 for Stars was meant to start in June 2021 but has been postponed to September 2021.

Harambee Stars were to start their campaign to Qatar in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with a home game against rivals Uganda Cranes.

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Kenya was set to begin its 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign against neighbours Uganda who are also polled in Group E together with Rwanda and Mali. PHOTO/COURTESY

Through a press release on Thursday,  CAF attributed the changes to challenges and disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams,” an excerpt from the press release says.

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A press release by CAF announcing the postponement of 2022 World Cup qualifiers. PHOTO/COURTEYS

Kenya is pooled in Group E alongside Uganda, Rwanda and Mali, with only the top team making it to the third qualifying round. Africa has only five slots in Qatar.

The 2022 World Cup will be the 22nd edition of the world showpiece and its start date remains unmoved despite the pandemic, running from November 21st to December 18, 2022.

Defending champions France will seek to retain the trophy after winning it in 2018 by hitting Croatia 4-2 in the final in Russia.

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