Exclusion of key Stars players in Congo match explained
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) barred two players from featuring for Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Republic of Congo due to anomalies in their passports, Nairobi News can authoritatively reveal.
This development forced Harambee Stars technical bench to quickly rejig the team’s line-up, considering one of the affected players had been primed for a staring role.
According to Stars assistant coach Musa Otieno, the move affected the team’s stability especially in defence,
“Edu (Edwin Wafula) was primed to start at right back, but he had issues with his passport and couldn’t play. We were then forced to reshuffle at the back, bringing in Calabar (David Owino) at right back and then pair Cheche (David Ochieng) and Jackson Saleh in central defence,” Otieno told SuperSport’s Simba Super Soccer show on Thursday.
Investigations by Nairobi News indicate the AFC Leopards defender was sidelined because the details on his passport, including his name, didn’t match those on Caf’s database.
Another player, whose identity remains anonymous, was also barred from playing, whilst there are “two or three” other players who also had “issues” with the systems but eventually had the anomalies sorted out.
The players in question seem to have since resolved the matter given that they are part of the squad selected to feature for the national team in Sunday’s match against Ethiopia in an Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier.