NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Skipper Victor Wanyama led a host of 12 other foreign based players who touched down in bahir, Dar, Ethiopia on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s crucial 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifier against the Walya Antelopes.
Wanyama who missed last month’s 1-0 home win against Ghana at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani as he had just returned from injury was the first to arrive alongside Kazakhstan based Paul Were while they rest joined on later with Japan-based Michael Olunga also arriving after a long flight.
The first group which included five local based players and the coaching team arrived in Ethiopia Saturday with the final group of local based players who were involved in Sunday’s Kenyan Premier League matches travelling Monday morning.
Apart from Wanyama, head coach Sebastien Migne will also have defender Brian Mandela back after serving his one match suspension and he is expected to be a direct swap for Gor Mahia’s Joash Onyango who was red carded against Ghana.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone who are currently under a ban by FIFA following government interference might be reinstated after a meeting involving the Isha Johansen-led federation, sports ministry and the country’s President earlier today.
Johanse had been ousted as the country’s FA by the government attracting wrath from FIFA, but Monday evening’s meeting might resolve the impasse.
All teams in Group F are currently on three points, that is if the FIFA ban will be reversed. If the ban is upheld, then Ethiopia will lose the three points they picked last month meaning they will be on zero points.
Kenya has three and a ban on Sierra Leone will mean the 2-1 loss they suffered in the opening match day will count for nothing.
Nonetheless, Migne and his charges say they minimum target in the back to back ties against Ethiopia is four points, results that will put them firmly in contention for a place in next year’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Harambee Stars Full Squad
Farouk Shikalo (Bandari, Kenya), Patrick Matasi (Tusker, Kenya)
Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Benard Ochieng (Vihiga United, Kenya), Musa Mohammed (Nkana FC, Zambia), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg FC, South Africa), Abud Omar (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), David Ochieng (IF Brommapojkarna, Sweden), Erick Ouma (Vasalund, Sweden)
Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka, Kenya), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari, Kenya), Ismael Gonzales (Las Palmas, Spain), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Paul Were (FC Kaisar, Kazakhstan), Erick Johanna (IF Brommapojkarna)
Piston Mutamba (Sofapaka), Allan Wanga (Kakamega Homeboyz), Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol), Ovella Ochieng (Vasalund)