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Mourinho swoops for Mariga

ROME, February 2 – Four-time defending Serie A champions Inter Milan signed highly-rated Kenyan international midfielder McDonald Mariga from rivals Parma on Monday on a four year contract.

Inter stepped in for the 22-year-old – capped 24 times – hours after a move to English Premier League heavyweights Manchester City had fallen through when he was refused a work permit.

A statement from Inter read: "Mariga has signed a contract until June 30 2014 and will wear the number 17 jersey.”

As part of the transfer deal Inter let Chilean midfielder Luis Jimenez – who had just returned from a loan spell with another Premier League outfit West Ham – move to Parma.

Mariga who had successfully undergone a medical at City and agreed personal terms was denied a the necessary documentation due to Kenya’s dismal FIFA world ranking.

The British Home Office only grants work permits to players whose countries are in the top 70 bracket. Kenya currently occupies 98th position.

Mariga’s move to the San Siro could see the former Tusker and Ulinzi player bask in glory with Inter who are eight points clear at the top of Serie A and in the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League where they will take on Jose Mourinho’s former side Chelsea.

Mariga’s failure to join the richest club in the world elicited outrage back home with some kenyans accusing the British government for  discrimination while others pointed the finger at Kenya’s football administrators whose incessant wrangles caused Harambee Stars dip in the rankings.

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  1. Munnex

    February 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Good to go Mariga, Both KFF and british gov't are to blame.

  2. Tim Mugo

    February 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    You know it really hurts to see a person of great discipline on and off the pitch working so hard but cannot achieve a dream move due to incessant wrangles in the football governing mafiosos in the country. I am a lawyer by profession and I pray that the case against FIFA goes through and are indeed fined. Reason, I have done a search at companies and I am positive football in Kenya is governed by bulwarks in the name of Kasuve and Hatimy. They have traded our country football standards for 30 pence! Thank God Mariga goes to Inter and with Mourinho, he will definitely get first team football now with the departure of Viera. I am with you boy, Mariga go for it dude.

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