Voice of Sport

Strange happenings as 19 accompany 20 of Harambee Stars on chartered flight to Guinea Bissau

Newly-elected Football Kenya Federation [FKF] say they inherited a Sh170m debt from previous regime and eyebrows are raised about how they will cater for joy-riders to Wednesday match


KENYA’S Harambee Stars left Nairobi on Monday morning for their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group ‘E’ qualifying match in Guinea Bissau, the selection of coach Stanley Okumbi for his first international causing a stir.

The newly-elected Football Kenya Federation [FKF] was also being berated for sending 19 officials to accompany only 20 players.

It will be a baptism by fire for Okumbi who has dropped some of the team’s mainstays bringing in complete rookie Ovella Ochieng’ and,  slightly more experienced,  Patilla Omoto from  second-tier division club Kariobangi Sharks which Okumbi coached a few seasons ago before stepping up to Kenyan Premier League [KPL] side Mathare United.

KPL bid

Kariobangi are owned by the recently elected FKF head Nicholas Mwendwa. The club made a start-of-season bid to enter the KPL leading a protest that the teams promoted to the top tier were undeserving.

The Harambee Stars’ trip to Bissau for the tie on Wednesday was facilitated by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts with the Cabinet Secretary having announced that they would take a chartered flight. That may have meant plenty of free seats on the aircraft hence the big number of officials travelling. But FKF is not particularly rich to pay for a possibly three to four days upkeep for the officials. When the new administration took over the FKF reigns, they announced that the last regime left behind a Sh170 million debt owed mainly to suppliers including hotels.

Some overseas-based players such as the skipper  Victor Wanyama will be joining up directly in Bissau from Europe. Wanyama played in Southampton’s 3-2 win over Liverpool in an English Premier League clash on Sunday.

KENYA v Guinea Bissau, Wednesday

(Kenyan clubs unless stated)

Goalkeepers:

Arnold Origi – (Lillestrom, Norway)

Boniface Oluoch – (Gor Mahia)

Defenders:

Dennis Odhiambo – (Thika United)

Musa Mohammed – (Gor Mahia)

Omar Mbongi – (Ulinzi Stars)

David “Calabar” Owino – (Zesco United, Zambia )

James Situma – (Tusker FC)

Brian Mandela – (Maritzburg United, South Africa)

Midfielders:

Victor Wanyama – (Southampton, England)

Johannah Omollo – (Antwerp, Belgium)

Patillah Omoto – (Kariobangi Sharks)

Eric Johannah Kubasu– (Mathare United)

Clifton Miheso – (AFC Leopards)

Anthony Kimani – (Bandari)

David King’atua – (Bandari)

Anthony Akumu – (Zesco United, Zambia).

Strikers:

Michael Olunga – (IF Djugardens, Sweden)

Timothy Otieno – (Posta Rangers)

Jesse Were – (Zesco United, Zambia)

Ovella Ochieng’ – (Kariobangi Sharks)

Coach: Stanley Okumbi