NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15 – Harambee Stars will miss the services of Norway based first choice keeper Arnold Origi, when they travel to Maseru for their 2015 African Cup of Nations second round opener against Lesotho on Sunday.
According to a reliable source from Football Kenya Federation (FKF), his club Lillestrome declined to release him saying the second round AFCON qualifiers are outside the FIFA calendar.
“We sent all the invitations and necessary requirements to our foreign based players including Origi who will not be available after his club declined to release him since their league is still on.
“Apart from him all the foreign based players are expected to link up with the squad today,” the source told Capital Sport on Tuesday.
In May, Stars were forced to play without the experienced custodian in the first leg of the preliminary round qualifiers against Comoros in Nairobi for similar reason.
This is a major blow to the team that will be without suspended head coach Adel Amrouche over the two legs, as they seek to avoid the embarrassment of crashing out of the continental showpiece before the final group qualifiers.
In Origi’s absence, Bandari shot-stopper Wilson Obungu is likely to take charge with Gor Mahia’s Jerim Onyango deputising and AFC Leopards’ Wycliffe Kasaya slotting in as third choice.
Bandari defender Abdulatif Omar is the latest call up in the team that will face Burundi Swallows in Tuesday’s international friendly at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium as part of their preparation for the qualifiers.
A win against Lesotho over the two legs will send Stars to Group C that include 2013 finalists Burkina Faso, Angola and Gabon for the final qualifiers of Morocco showdown.