English Premier League (EPL) side Everton FC landed in Kenya on Saturday 6 July ahead of the historic SportPesa – sponsored friendly match with Kariobangi Sharks set to be played on Sunday 7 July at the MISC Kasarani from 4pm local time.
The Toffees left the UK from Manchester on Friday evening and landed in Nairobi in the morning hours of Saturday. They will be in the country until after the game on Sunday when they will jet off to continue with the rest of their pre-season engagements.
It is the first ever visit by the Merseyside club to Kenya and second visit to East Africa after their 2017 tour of Tanzania where they played Gor Mahia.
The game is a first for Sharks as well who have never played against a team outside of the continent let alone one from the prestigious English Premier League.
A 22-man squad was named by head coach Marco Silva for the visit with first team regulars Theo Walcot, Andre Gomes, Omar Niasse, Morgan Schneiderlin and Leighton Baines being included.
A few members of Everton’s Ladies team have also made the trip to Nairobi in support of their men counterparts.
Everton legends Stephen Piennar and Leon Osman have been in the country for the past week hyping up the game as well as holding several footballing workshops in Kariobangi where they gave out kits and other football merchandise.
The game will also see both teams don their respective new kits for the coming season, manufactured by Umbro.
Sharks earned the right to play Everton after winning the 2019 SportPesa Cup held in Tanzania in January and head coach William Muluya has termed this a once in a lifetime opportunity for his players to get to show what they can do against some of the best players in the world.
He said, “We welcome Everton to our beloved country, this is a huge opportunity. My players are young and we want to make history. We have quality in the team which we believe can match the play on Sunday.”
After the game, Everton will leave for Switzerland where they are set to play FC Sion and Monaco.