NAIROBI, October 14 – A section of Harambee Stars squad failed to arrive back in the country on Tuesday morning as expected after missing their flight in Lagos.,
The contingent of 15 which included 12 players and three coaches was scheduled to depart from the Nigerian city for Nairobi on Monday night on a Kenya Airways plane but their flight from Conakry was delayed and they subsequently missed their flight.
Among the players stranded in Lagos are Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech, Robert Mambo, Jamal Mohammed, Allan Wanga, George Owino and Patrick Oboya, Mulinge Ndeto, Noah Ayuko, Kevin Ochieng, Austin Makacha, John Njoroge and George Owino as well as head coach Francis Kimanzi, and his two assistants, Yusuf Chippo and James Nandwa.
Parma’s MacDonald Mariga is the only exception having made his way to Europe via Abidjan and is already back at his Italian base.
KPL Managing Director Jack Oguda confirmed that they were working hard to get the team back home.
“The team was scheduled to leave Conakry on Bellevue Airlines of Nigeria at 6 pm to Lagos via Abidjan however airport officials misdirected team to the wrong side of the airport to allow the other local travelers be secretly boarded into the plane which was overbooked. The Captain flying to Lagos allowed 15 members to board the plane in business class at no extra cost on realizing that there had been a scam to mislead the team,” said Oguda.
“We are working with our Kenya Airways contact to get them tickets for tonight and hopefully they will arrive tomorrow (Wednesday) morning,” he added.
The rest of the team including six players; Francis Ouma, Duncan Ochieng, Edgar Ochieng, Osborne Monday, Lloyd Wahome and Joseph Shikokoti, Kenya Premier League chairman Bob Munro, three government officials, Titus Kasuve, Patrick Naggi, Gerald Chege, Bob Munro, Njoroge Gichinga, Wycliffe Makanga, three SuperSport officials, are still holed up in Conakry and Oguda added that they were looking for ways of getting them out.
“Flights have been a problem but we are trying our best to get out of a tough situation and bring home all players,” he said.
Stars lost their final group two 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Guinea 3-2 last weekend with Dennis Oliech’s brace coming a little too late for the Stars who had gone 3-0 down in the first hour.
Despite the loss, they finished second on ten points with their winning the group with 11 points but both teams qualified for the final phase of qualifiers set for next year.
The draw for the qualifiers will be held on October 22 with the twenty teams being divided into five groups of four teams each.
The top team in each group will thus qualify for the World Cup while the top three will make it for the Cup of Nations in Angola in January 2010.