Football Football

Mariga set for Stars return


NAIROBI, Kenya, October 2- Inter Milan midfielder, MacDonald Mariga is set for his return to Harambee Stars after head coach Henri Michel named him among nine foreign players for the friendly against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

At the same time, Kenyans will not see Everton FC midfielder, Stephen Pienaar in action after South Africa Football Association announced on Tuesday that the Bafana captain had retired from international football when naming their squad to face Poland and Stars.

Michel rolled out his overseas contingent that will be fronted by stars skipper, Dennis Oliech who turns out for French Ligue 2 side, AJ Auxerre, Mariga and his younger brother, Victor Wanyama who will be in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday night with Celtic.

Knee injury forced Mariga who was loaned out to Spanish side Real Sociedad then Italian outfit Parma AC before returning to Inter, from Stars 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Malawi and Nambia as well as the second leg of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup knock-out tie against Togo in May.

In February, Mariga quit the side demanding to be refunded his airfare to previous Stars matches by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on the eve of their first leg clash against the Sparrow Hawks but the matter was later settled.

Norway based custodian Arnold Origi, Christian Bwammy, Ayub Timbe, Patrick Oboya, Brain Mandela and Jerry Santos are the other foreign based players to be invited for the Bafana tie.

The match set for Nyayo National Stadium will be the first under former Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tunisia coach as Kenya prepares for the African Home Nations Championships qualifier against Burundi on December 1.

Meanwhile, Ghana Black Stars will train in Nairobi from next Monday as they prepare for their forthcoming African Cup of Nations 2013 qualifier against Malawi at their Naivasha base.