Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat axes Benson Omala ahead of Iran date
Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat has dropped Football Kenya Federation Premier League leading goal scorer Benson Omala from his squad that is set to play Iran on March 28, 2023.
Nairobi News has confirmed the player has been dropped from the squad with sources suggesting the coach feels the striker doesn’t fit in his playing system.
Omala has been on terrific form in the league, netting 19 goals in the 20 FKF-PL matches.
Being dropped from the squad leaves midfielder Alpha Onyango as the only Gor Mahia player in the national team.
Coincidentally Gor leads FKF-PL standing on 42 points from 20 matches. Apart from Omala, talisman Masud Juma who plays in Saudi Arabia, and Bandari defenders Mohamed Siraj and Andrew ‘Roma’ Juma have also been dropped, same as former AFC Leopards defender Collins Sichenje.
On Thursday, Firat dropped Nzoia Sugar duo of Hassan Beja and John Mwangi as well as Leopards goalkeeper Levis Opiyo as well as KCB’S Maurice Ojwang.
The decision by Firat to drop Omala has received backlash from football fans who have questioned what is the future of Stars attack if promising young players such as Omala, 21 are left out of such a friendly.
Michael Olunga, Elvis Rupia and Alfred Scriven are Firat’s options in attack.
The national team leaves the country for Tehran on Sunday ahead of the friendly contest which will be the first after Fifa removed suspension it had slapped on Kenya due to government interference.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi (Kenya Police), Ian Otieno (Zesco), Bryne Odhiambo (KCB).
Defenders: Daniel Anyembe (Viborg), Daniel Sakari (Tusker), Abud Omar (Kenya Police), Joseph Okumu (Gent), Brian Mandela (Sundowns), Johnstone Omurwa (Estrela), Eric Ouma (AIK), David Ochieng (Mathare United),
Midfielders: Amos Nondi (Ararat), Richard Odada (Philadelphia Union), Teddy Akumu (Sagan Tosu), , Wilkims Ochieng (FC Koper), Victor Omune (AFC Leopards), Alpha Onyango (Gor Mahia), Kenneth Muguna (Azam), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari), Duke Abuya (Kenya Police)
Strikers: Alfred Scriven (IL Hodd), Michael Olunga (Al Duhail), Elvis Rupia (Kenya Police).