Nairobi News


Oktay outraged by huge numbers of Mathare, Sharks players in Kenya U23 team

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay has blasted the selectors of the Kenya national U23 football team for only picking players from Mathare United and Kariobangi Sharks.

The Kenyan team, managed by Mathare coach Francis Kimanzi, lost 2-0 on aggregate to Sudan on Wednesday, a result that ended the team’s laying at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


And barely a day after the loss, Oktay says he is ‘concerned’ with the team’s selection, adding that he doesn’t see, for example, why Gor Mahia’s Nicholas Kipkurui didn’t make the cut.

“I wish more of my (Gor Mahia) players can join the national team, and I’m looking at the U-23. Apparently no single player from Gor Mahia plays for the team,” Oktay told

“I can only see players from Kariobangi Sharks and Mathare United, two teams and I have a lot of great talent in my squad. Even Nicholas Kipkurui is 22, but they did not pick him and I don’t understand why<” he further lamented.


Pressed further to explain if he believes the selectors are biased, Oktay said, “I don’t know who selects the team but I have Kipkurui week in week out scoring goals and he is not in the U-23 team and this for me is a big question mark.”

Half of the players who started against Sudan in Nairobi are from either Mathare or Sharks. Neither has scored more goals than Kipkurui (seven in all competitions).