The Harambee stars will be without five of their top players for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifying match against the Super Eagles in Nairobi.
Goalkeeper Arnold Origi and Striker Dennis Oliech are suspended, while midfielders McDonald Mariga and Davis Gateri are presently nursing injuries. Meanwhile, forward Ayub Timbe snubbed the invitation to represent his country.
Oliech, who plays for AC Ajaccio in the French Ligue 1is suspended after having two yellow cards recorded on behalf of his name in Kenya’s previous qualifiers. The striker is one of Harambee stars’ most experienced and prolific goal scorer.
He was instrumental in his side’s 1-1 draw with their Nigerian counterparts in Calabar on March 23rd. Since his international debut in 2002, Kenya has won only one match in which Oliech did not play. He has made 34 appearances for the Harambee stars.
Oliech is, however, in camp inspiring his teammates to stun the Super Eagles.
“Oliech is here to motivate the boys and he is important to the team even if he does not play. As for Timbe, we are disappointed because it is every player’s dream to represent their country,” Kenya’s Belgian- Algerian coach Adel Amrouche said.
“It is unpatriotic for Timbe to refuse to come, just as he did when we played Nigeria in Calabar.”
The coach is likely to hand the captain’s arm band to Celtic FC’s Victor Wanyama.
Wanyama, who plays alongside Nigeria’s full- back Efe Ambrose at the Scottish club, won the league and cup double and also made it to the last sixteen of the UEFA Champions League. Wanyama emerged the ‘Players’ Player’ and ‘Young Player of the Year,’ at the end of the Scottish League season.
“He is a good example for professionalism,” Amrouche said of Wanyama. “I believe so much in him and he is a player African youths can emulate.”
Kenya’s first choice keeper Origi earned a second yellow card of the qualifying series for time- wasting in Calabar two months ago.