Salim Babu to lead Kenya U20 in Malawi invitational tournament

FOOTBALL Salim Babu to lead Kenya U20 in Malawi invitational tournament

Mark Kinyanjui 21:31 - 10.03.2024

Babu, who coached Kenya U18 to the final of the 2023 CECAFA U18 Boys' championship, will lead the U20 side in Malawi.

Kenya U18 coach Salim Babu has been entrusted with leading the Kenya U20 team in a four-nation tournament set to take place in Malawi during the upcoming international break.

Babu, who is also the current Kenya Police interim coach, led Junior Stars to the final of CECAFA U18 Championship in December 2023.

Since taking charge at the beginning of the year, he has led Police to a run of unbeaten form, having not lost any game in 2024.

The four-nation tournament in Malawi will see Kenya face off against Zimbabwe, Zambia, and the hosts. 

This event aligns with the preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers scheduled to resume in June, involving not only the U20 teams but also the senior Harambee Stars.

Babu's appointment suggests that many players from the U18 team may form the core of the U20 squad, expected to be announced soon. The team is set to enter camp in the coming week to prepare for the championship.

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) had earlier announced a concurrent youth tournament for the U20 national teams during the same period.

 This tournament aims to bring together the region's best young players, fostering the development and exposure of elite youth talent. 

Additionally, it serves as preparation for the 2024 AFCON Under-20 qualifiers later in the year.

 A statement from FKF emphasized the commitment of the four nations – Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – to collaborate for the advancement of football development in the region, promoting camaraderie, high-level competition, and the elevation of youth football programs.

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