NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1- Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama will not be available for Kenya’s friendly against DR Congo next Tuesday as he has been unable to get a favorable flight to Lubumbashi in time for the match.
Wanyama, who has been a vital cog for his English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, will be in action on Sunday evening as the side plays a tough match against league leaders Manchester City, a match that kicks off at 3pm UK time.
Speaking to Capital Sport from North London, Wanyama says it was impossible to get a direct flight to Lubumbashi and it is understood that his club was not willing to release him for the Tuesday friendly.
“I won’t be able to get to Lubumbashi on time because the best flight I got arrives in Congo midnight Monday and the game will be on Tuesday. That will not be enough time to rest and play and so, I have informed the team that it will not be possible for me to be there,” Wanyama, who has only missed one Spurs match this season, said.
However, the captain believes the squad has enough depth to cover up especially with the return of Belgium based midfielder Johanna Omolo who missed the last two assignments.
“I know the squad is quite capable. I would have loved to be there but the circumstances won’t allow, Congo is a good team and playing against them is something huge for our national team. I know those who are there will do equally good,” the midfield maestro added.
Harambee Stars is expected to fly out on Sunday evening and the squad has been boosted with the arrival of the Zambian based trio of David ‘Calabar’ Owino, Anthony Akumu and Jesse Were as well as New York City Cosmos defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng.
Head coach Stanley Okumbi insisted the match will be important for the team especially giving competitive game time to some players he intends to use for the CECAFA Senior Challenge later on in the year.
Meanwhile, DR Congo led by head coach Florent Ibenge expect to have a full strength squad for the friendly match, just four days before they play against Libya in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier.
Everton forward Yannick Bolasie who played part in the Merseyside club’s 1-1 Friday night draw with his former side Crystal Palace is expected in for the match and will lead in a huge legion of foreign based players.
Other high profile players include Newcastle United’s Chancel Mbemba, Norwich’s Yousuf Mulumbu, Villareal’s Cedrick Bakambu and Hull City’s Diumerci Mbokani.