NAIROBI, Kenya, March 18 – British born Taiwo Atieno has until Friday to get a Kenyan passport if he is to be eligible to play in the World Cup qualifier against Tunisia.
Stars team manager Patrick Naggi told Capital Sport that the authorities are yet to act on their request to have the 23 year old striker confirmed as a Kenyan citizen.
“Time is definitely not on our side. If we don’t get word from the government, then tough luck. He (Atieno) will not play for us,” said Naggi.
Atieno failed to travel to Iran with the rest of the squad last Wednesday because of lack of Kenyan documents.
The squad will be trimmed to 15 players before the weekend and then increase to 25 next week when the foreign based players report to camp to prepare for the crunch match against Tunisia.
“We have just talked to Dennis Oliech and he is expected in the country on Monday with the other players based in Europe,” said Naggi.
“We want them to meet up in Amsterdam and then travel to Kenya as a group,” he added.
Patrick Oboya, Jamal Mohamed, Robert Mambo, Arnold Origi and Macdonald Mariga are the other players who turn out for European clubs.
Also expected on Monday is Angolan based Allan Wanga and the Tanzanian based players whose presence will boost the squad number to 25.
“The coach (Antoine Hey) will then cut the team to 20 in readiness for the Tunisian match,” said Naggi.
Naggi also clarified that the ban imposed on Sher Karuturi goalkeeper Noah Ayuko by the Independent Disciplinary and Appeals Committee (IDAC) for his indiscretions during a Kenya Premier League (KPL) fixture against Ulinzi Stars will not prevent him from playing for Stars.
Ayuko and five other Sher players have been banned for four consecutive KPL matches.
The keeper who was fined for allegedly feigning injury was also slapped with a Sh25,000 fine while his club has been fined Sh100,000.