NAIROBI, June 3 – Newly signed Gor Mahia speedy winger, Paul Were, has been ruled out of Saturday’s CHAN first round return leg qualifier against Ethiopia’s Walia Ibex at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium.
Speaking Friday after conducting the team’s final training, head coach Bobby Williamson said Were is ineligible to play due to complications with his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“He (Were) will not be available because he has not been cleared. He is yet to get his ITC from his previous South African club but I’m not worried because i have good players up front,” Williamson said.
Gor assistant Secretary General, Ronald Ngala is hopeful they will get the ITC by Wednesday since they had already applied for it.
“We did our part, the rest is up to the federation to follow up so I’m sure they are in talks with their South African counterpart to speed up the process. We cannot field him until we get the ITC,” Ngala told Capital Sport.
Were joined K’Ogalo from relegated South African Premier Soccer League side Amazulu on Monday but the transfer is yet to be cleared.
Other changes in the squad that has an uphill task of reversing the 2-0 first-leg defeat include Gor centrebacks, Musa Mohammed and Harun Shakava as well as Thika United left-back, Dennis Odhiambo who all sat out.
With Were who scored in their 1-1 Afcon qualifiers away to Congo Brazzaville sidelined, Williamson hopes in form Gor Mahia goal poacher, Michael Olunga and Tusker’s Jesse Were will rise to the occasion.
“The most important thing is as much as we seek goals, we should remain solid at the back and make sure we don’t concede. It’s really uphill task but I’m confident we can score more than two goals.
“I will approach the game positively. If the keeper had not saved the penalty it could have been easier. It doesn’t matter when the goal will come but when it does we will build up from there but for now I will try and keep my cards close to my chest,” the Scotsman stated.
Olunga comes on the back of netting four goals in their 4-1 KPL demolition of Chemelil Sugar while Were scored a brace in their 3-0 thumping of Nakuru All Stars.
Williamson is expected to make slight changes from the squad that played in Ethiopia with Edwin Wafula starting at the right-back, Odhiambo on the left while Mohammed and Shakava will man the central defence to protect, keeper Boniface Oluoch.
Skipper, Collins Okoth is expected to control the midfield with AFC Leopard’s Bernard Mang’oli while Ali Abondo who was benched in Ethiopia likely to start on the right wing as Kevin Kimani continues his role on the left.
Current KPL top scorer on 11 goals, Olunga and Jesse Were who came on as a substitute in Ethiopia are likely to hunt for goals.
Stars need to score three unanswered goals for them to advance to the second round where Sudan await.
Officials from Comoros will be in charge of the match with Ali Mohammed Adelaid appointed as centre referee assisted by Soulai Amaladine and Hamadi Houssein Ibrahim while Noiret Bacari will be the reserve referee.
Match Commissioner, Kayijuka Gaspard from Rwanda will be the match Commissioner.