NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech has been sensationally dropped from the national football team Harambee Stars.The mercurial hitman was axed by Coach Antoine Hey due to poor form and will now miss Sunday’s crucial world Cup qualifier against Tunisia in Rades.
Speaking to Capital Sport on Tuesday evening, Team manager Emmanuel Oduor confirmed that he had not procured a ticket for Oliech to link up with the team in Tunis.
“I purchased tickets for five players but none for Oliech as instructed by the head coach,” said Oduor.
The news comes hot on the heels of news that Parma striker Macdonald Mariga will also miss the match due to injury. The all action midfielder was in injured during a league match on Sunday.
Oliech’s axing presents the latest chapter in the colourful striker’s association with the national team. An ever present in the national team since he made his debut in 2002, Oliech’s stint has been marked with drama, controversy and thrilling moments.
The star man when Stars qualified for the 2004 Cup of Nations in Tunisia, Oliech then stayed out of the team for most of 2005 and 2006 due to disagreements with Kenya Football federation over payment of his air ticket and allowances.
He came back with a bang scoring four goals as Kenya made it to the final round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers last year but the appointment of Hey in place of Francis Kimanzi has coincided with a drop in form.
Five professional players will link up with the team in Tunisia including Patrick Osiako, Victor Mugabe, Willis Ochieng, Patrick Oboya and Robert mambo.
South Africa based Musa Otieno and Angola based Allan Wanga joined the rest of the team in Nairobi while Sweden based Austin Makacha also linked up with the team before they left for the Maghreb nation.
Stars must beat Tunisia to keep alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. It will be a tall order for Stars who wee humbled 2-1 in the first leg in Nairobi in March.
Infact Stars have lost their last three meetings with the Carthage Eagles both home and away losing 1-0 in Tunisia and 2-0 in Nairobi during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers in a match played behind closed doors at Kasarani.