Libya’s Al Hilal Benghazi in Nairobi for date with Kakamega Homeboyz
Al Hilal Benghazi are in Nairobi ahead of the preliminary round of the Caf Confederations Cup clash versus hosts Kakamega Homeboyz.
The Libyan 25-man squad consisting players, technical bench and three administrators touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on August 16, 2023.
The first leg clash will be held at the Nyayo Stadium on August 19, 2023, ahead of the rematch in Benghazi, Libya, two weeks later.
Nyayo has been closed for renovations commisioned by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba since August 3, 2023.
Homeboyz Chief Executive Bernard Shitiabayi received their opponents who landed after moments midday and put them up at Monvie Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi.
The team will train at Utalii Grounds before having a feel of the venue of the clash on the eve of the match.
“We have received them and will ensure everything goes right during their stay here,” Shitiabayi told Nairobi News.
Homeboyz booked a ticket to compete in this tournament after beating bigwigs Tusker 1-0 at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani in the finale of the domestic cup, which has been renamed MozzartBet Cup for commercial purposes, on July 1, 2023.
Al Hilal Benghazi are coached by experienced manager Mohamed Ouda who has previously handled Al-Nassr and Al Ahli in Libya. The club hosts its matches at Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi, Libya.
The winner in the two legged clash will face Rayon Sports of Rwanda in the first round.
The winner of the first round makes it to money minting group stage where participants are given Sh55.1 million by tournament organizers the Confederation of African Football (Caf) as prize money.
Among the Kenyan teams which have played Al Hilal Benghazi are reigning champions Gor Mahia and four-time Football Kenya Federation Premier League champions Ulinzi Stars.
Gor played Al Hilal in a friendly match in 2019 where the two sides battled to a 1-1 draw at Benina Martyrs Stadium. Ulinzi on the other hand were eliminated in the preliminary round of the Caf Confederation Cup in 2017.
The soldiers and Al Hilal played out to a 1-1 draw in a two legged clash before Ulinzi beat their opponents 5-4 in post-match penalties.
Homeboyz is the only team from Kenya taking part in Caf competition after Gor Mahia were locked out following a payment row with its former player’s Burundian forward Jules Ulimwengu, Congolese striker, Sando Sando Yangay and Malian custodian Adama Keita.