Why star striker Olunga may not feature in Kenya’s friendly with Zambia


Why star striker Olunga may not feature in Kenya's friendly with Zambia
Francisco Muchanga(left) challenges Kenya's Michael Olunga during Sunday's friendly match at Kasarani. on October 13, 2019.Kenya lost 0-1.PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • Olunga's participation in the Stars match would mean he will have to be subjected to a mandatory quarantine upon return to Japan from international duty.

Michael Olunga is uncertain whether he will feature in the upcoming Harambee Stars’ international friendly match against Zambia as it would mean missing up to seven matches for his Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol.

Stars are scheduled to play the Chipolopolo next month ahead of their African Cup of Nations qualifier double header (home and away) against Comoros in November.

And Olunga’s participation in the Stars match would mean he will have to be subjected to a mandatory quarantine upon return to Japan from international duty.

“After the national team you have to come back and it’s a mandatory quarantine for two weeks, another 14 days probably we are talking about; seven fixtures that are in line for me to miss, of course it’s going to be a big call on my side, I really have to make a choice,” he said: “At the end of the day we are negotiating between the club and the national team.”

Having scored 16 goals so far this season and leading the scorer chats, Olunga is hopeful of clinching the golden boot.

“I get a lot of popularity, I enter into the Japanese train, now all the fans they know me because I am on top of the scoring charts, all the teams I am going to play against, they have me on top of their minds, I have been trying to maintain the same tempo, the expectation is high, you have to live up to it,” added Olunga.

Kashiwa Reysol are sixth on the log with 27 points from 16 games and the former Gor Mahia striker is hopeful of finishing the season in a better position.

“I had kickstarted my campaign for 2020 but you know COVID was inevitable and after four months when we resumed the first three games I couldn’t score, I felt like fitness was not good, my conditioning was not the best, after three games I adapted really quickly, I started scoring and I went on to score in seven consecutive games,” the Kenyan international told Citizen TV in a video interview from his base in Japan.

 

Report by Bernard Ndong and John Kyanda

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