Stars fly out for Egypt clash but with just two foreign based players


Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations 2019 - Group C - Algeria v Kenya - 30 ...
Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations 2019 - Group C - Algeria v Kenya - 30 June Stadium, Cairo, Egypt - June 23, 2019 Kenya players huddle at the end of the match REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

In Summary

  • Only two foreign based players were part of the Harambee Stars squad that departed for Cairo, Egypt on Sunday for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier set for Thursday.
  • Sweden based duo Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma and Joseph Stanley Okumu who have been in camp with the local based players jetted to Cairo via Dubai, with the rest of the team members set to join them later this week.

Only two foreign based players were part of the Harambee Stars squad that departed for Cairo, Egypt on Sunday for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier set for Thursday.

Sweden based duo Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma and Joseph Stanley Okumu who have been in camp with the local based players jetted to Cairo via Dubai, with the rest of the team members set to join them later this week.

The travel arrangements that have seen  the Stars take a long route attracted heavy criticism from head coach Francis Kimanzi, saying the 16-hour travel to Cairo will help nothing but cause fatigue to the players.

However, the initially reported plan to boycott the match by some players was not to be, as they finally bowed to the already fixed route by the Ministry of Sports.

“The members of the team that left Nairobi on Sunday have arrived in Cairo. The rest from Zambia, Europe and Asia are set to arrive between today and tomorrow,” FKF’s Communications Director Ken Okaka said.

With the team expected to play Togo in the second qualifier match just four days later after Pharaohs, head coach Francis Kimanzi has kept 25 for the two assignments.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Mohammed Salah warmed up for Stars with a goal as Liverpool stopped English Premier League (EPL) champions Manchester City 3-1 on Sunday.

His EPL counterpart Victor Wanyama was not in the team that played to a 1-1 draw against stubborn Sheffield United.

Salah makes a comeback in the squad for the first time since playing in the 2019 AFCON, when his team crashed out of the tournament in the round of 16. When Harambee Starts will be hosting Togo in Nairobi on Monday, Egypt will be away to Comoros for another Group G qualifier.

Harambee Stars Full Squad

Goalkeepers

Patrick Matasi (St. George SC, Ethiopia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya), Ian Otieno (Red Arrows, Zambia)

Defenders

Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito, Kenya), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Hillary Wandera (Tusker, Kenya), Erick Ouma (Vasalunds IF, Sweden), Joseph Okumu (IF Elfsborg, Sweden), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya)

Midfielders

Teddy Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), Boniface Muchiri (Tusker, Kenya), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Cliff Nyakeya (FC Masr, Egypt), Erick Johanna Omondi (IF Brommapojkarma, Sweden), Whyvone Isuza (AFC Leopards, Kenya)

Forwards

Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia), John Avire (Sofapaka, Kenya), John Mark Makwatta (AFC Leopards, Kenya)

 

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Story By Jacob Icia
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