Kenya missed out on a slot at the 2013 Special Olympics World Cup in Brazil after falling to Ivory Coast in the continental qualifiers played in South Africa over the weekend.
Kenya reached the semi-finals of the competition but fell 4-0 to the West Africans during the Africa Unity Cup to miss out on a podium finish which would have seen them take the trip to Brazil.
Hosts South Africa, who won the tournament, Tanzania and Ivory Coast will now carry the African flag to the World Cup.
South Africa narrowly edged out Tanzania 3-2 to take the top prize. The tournament in Phokeng, South Africa featured 22 national teams from 14 African countries. The teams participated in the regional seven-a-side football tournament held between October 3 and 6.
Participating countries included Tanzania, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and hosts South Africa. The Kenyan team led by former national under 17 team coach Vince
Ombiji will now go back to the drawing and identify what went wrong before venturing into further tournaments. The players in the squad included captain Boniface Kimeu, John Mwaka, January Muhindi, Kyalo Mulavu, Amos Ochura, Vincent Ogwang, Howard Masha, Apollo Kamau, Paul Omulupi and Ali Said.
The goal of the competition is to support the Special Olympics ideology of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities under the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. Unified Sports program brings together intellectually disabled athletes with partners without intellectual disabilities on teams for friendly athletic competition.