NAIROBI, Nov 4 – France based striker Dennis Oliech and Mathare United defensive stalwart Edgar ‘Fighter’ Ochieng have been recalled to Harambee Stars.
Speaking shortly after arrival from Egypt where Harambee Stars was thrashed 5-0 by Kuwait in a friendly on Wednesday morning, assistant coach Twahir Muhiddin confirmed that the duo has been recalled ahead of the November 14 must win clash against Nigeria.
Head coach Antoine Hey however refused to comment on the call ups fuelling reports that both players have been recalled against his wishes.
But FKL’s Erastus Okul confirmed that the player had been recalled adding that an air ticket has already been sent to Oliech to facilitate his travel.
Sources intimated to Capital Sport that Football Kenya Limited (FKL) had prevailed upon the German tactician to recall Oliech and Ochieng and any other player left out saying that they would significantly boost the team ahead of the Nigeria match.
But Hey is said to have been adamant and even threatened to resign but FKL called his bluff asking him to tender his resignation upon which he asked for time to mull over the recommendations.
The team’s management now seems to have agreed to recall the players who played key roles in the team last year.
The move will come as good news for football fans who have been up in arms over the exclusion of Oliech who has been Kenya’s top striker for the last seven years. Last week, the Kenya association of Coaches (KEFOCA) wrote an open lette rto Hey asking him to reconsider reinstating the Auxerre striker.
Oliech who was dropped because of indiscipline last month is Kenya’s top goalscorer in the 2010 qualifiers with five goals including one in the final round of qualifiers against Tunisia in March.
Voted the best defender in the Kenya Premier League last season, Ochieng was dropped in mArch this year in the aftermath of the row between Hey and Ochieng’s club Mathare United over the infamous letter of commitment.
Kenya has had an abysmal run in the final round of qualifiers winning one and losing five games so far.
Currently bottom of its group, Kenya must beat Nigeria in Nairobi and hope that Tunisia does them a favour by holding Mozambique to a draw in Maputo.
A draw against the super eagles will have Kenyans hoping for a Tunisia win for them to go through to Angola next year.