Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal – those are the nations people talk about when African football comes up in conversation. Kenya might not have the profile of those relative giants, but the nation loves the beautiful game and has produced many fine players downs the years. If you want to learn more about Kenyan football and how to bet on the nation’s local competitions, read on.
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Kenyan Premier League
The Kenyan Premier League has 18 teams and a history dating back to 1963, when the inaugural competition was taken out by Nakuru All Stars.
In recent years the competition has been dominated by Gor Mahia, who won a trio of titles between 2013 and 2015 and are well in the mix to add another in 2017.
Football betting options in Kenya
Even if the nation’s domestic and national teams might not rank among the best in Africa, the Kenyan football landscape offers plenty of options for punters. That includes a multi-tier league system, several cup competitions and a FIFA-affiliated national team.
International football – Kenya’s national team belongs to the Confederation of African Football – the largest of all the continental federations. While the Harambee Stars have never reached the FIFA World Cup finals and haven’t featured at the Africa Cup of Nations since 2004, you can bet on them in friendlies, qualifiers and futures markets all year round.
Kenyan Premier League – Featuring 16 teams and running from autumn to spring each year, the KPL is the elite division of Kenyan domestic football. The standard of the competition has improved significantly in recent years, especially since sealing a key partnership deal with SuperSport. Kenya’s most successful club is Gor Mahia, with 15 titles.
Domestic cups – Kenya’s top football clubs compete in three annual knockout competitions. The most prestigious is the President’s Cup – the nation’s equivalent to the English FA Cup. The Super Cup is a one-off final between the league winners and President’s Cup champions, while the Top 6 Cup features the eight highest-ranked teams in the KPL.
Best ever Kenyan footballers
Compared to other African nations, Kenya is relatively untapped resource when it comes to football talent. The country has produce several fine players nonetheless, the best of which even graced the highest leagues of Europe.
Dennis Oliech – A modern trailblazer, Oliech was one of the first Kenyan players to crack the European leagues. The striker spent 10 seasons in France, scoring a total of 37 goals during his stints at Nantes, Auxerre and Ajaccio. He also enjoyed a distinguished international career, amassing 34 goals in 68 games before retiring in 2016.
McDonald Mariga – If not for constant injury troubles, this guy might now be one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe. Mariga’s early efforts in the Scandinavian leagues attracted the attention of Parma, who signed him in 2007. Three years later he joined Internazionale and became the first Kenyan to play in the UEFA Champions League.
Victor Wanyama – The way he is going, Wanyama will finish his career as comfortably the greatest footballer in Kenya’s history. The all-action midfielder has gone from strength to strength since joining Celtic in 2011, moving to Southampton two years later and then to Tottenham Hotspur in 2016.