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Oliech pulls out of Stars over sponsor row

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 26- Harambee Stars captain, Dennis Oliech has backed out of the team until a dispute with the team’s sponsors East Africa Breweries Limited is resolved.

In a letter addressed to Football Kenya Federation (FKF), the AJ Auxerre player said he had taken the decision to stand down from the team in protest against his image being used in a billboard by the beer firm without his consent.

“I would like to inform you that I will not be participating in any event organised/sponsored by EABL including the forthcoming matches for Harambee Stars if they will still be under the sponsorship of EABL,” part of Oliech’s letter said.

“They have disrespected (me) by putting my image on their billboard without my authority. I have tried several times to make them talk about the issue through my manager but to no avail,” the skipper added.

The all time leading goal scorer for Stars noted that he had stalled against taking action since he was aware of the adverse impact it would have had on the team that played their 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Togo in late February.

In a billboard advert rolled out by EABL brand Tusker to celebrate the signing of their Sh110m sponsorship of the national side, the images of Oliech, AC Parma midfielder, MacDonald Mariga and Sofapaka winger, Bob Mugalia were used.

Oliech also accused FKF of taking no action over the dispute despite promising to look into the matter.

His withdrawal is the second high profile pull-out from the national team after Mariga stormed out on the eve of their match against Togo where Kenya went on to win 2-1.

Mariga was objecting to the non-payment of travelling expenses accrued while honouring Stars matches totalling Sh1.2m.

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Earlier this month, FKF boss, Sam Nyamweya wrote to the midfielder undertaking to settle the claims upon Mariga producing receipts for his tickets pegged to Economy Class travel.

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