Were called up as trio pull out of Harambee Stars friendlies

Paul Were of Harambee Stars celebrates scoring against Liberia during their FIFA International friendly match ...
Paul Were of Harambee Stars celebrates scoring against Liberia during their FIFA International friendly match at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on November 15, 2016. His transfer from AFC Leopards to Amazulu FC is at the centre of a Fifa probe. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Erick Ouma, Ayub Timbe and Erick Johanna have been withdrawn from the Harambee Stars squad for the double-header international friendlies against Uganda and DRC Congo.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) confirmed the trio sent formal requests and were granted time off to settle in their new clubs with the First Coach Stanley Okumbi subsequently calling up winger Paul Were.

Timbe is barely a month old at his new second tier Chinese club, Beijing Renhe FC, while former Gor Mahia star Ouma has only featured four times at Georgian Premier League side FC Kolkheti.

Ouma who will be missing in the Stars’ line-up for the first time since making his debut last year in friendly tie against Sudan is yet to receive a residential ID in Georgia and his departure would mean reapplying for a visa.

“The application process can be tedious and yet my club needs me. By the time I will be needed for the next assignment, the ID will be ready so I will be sure. I just wish my teammates all the best in the two matches,” Ouma told Citizen Digital.

Both the Ugandan and DRC Congo teams began jetting into the country on Monday with the final squads expected to arrive on Tuesday.

The Ugandan Cranes have tentatively been scheduled to have their first training session at Nairobi’s Camp Toyoyo on Tuesday at 3:00pm (+3GMT) ahead of their clash against the Stars on Thursday at the Kenyatta Satdium in Machakos.

Foreign-based players including Abud Omar of Slava Sofia, Michael Olunga of Chinese side Guizhou Zhicheng, Royal Antwerp’s Johanna Omolo as well as Zambia based trio of David Owino, Jesse Were and Antony Teddy Akumu have already reported to camp.

The squad held its first training on Tuesday morning, a first of two closed sessions scheduled for the day.

The Stars will first play Cranes before tackling the highly-rated DRC who have twice won the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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