Origi ditches Kenya for Norwegian passport
Harambee Stars will be without long serving custodian Arnold Origi when they begin the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Congo on Sunday at the Stade Marien Ngouabi in Owando.
According to head coach Bobby Williamson, Origi is busy chasing after a Norwegian passport.
Origi has lived in the Scandinavia country since 2007 when he joined FK Moss and is understandably keen to settle in Norway. He currently turns out for Norwegian top division side Lillestrom.
Speaking to Daily Nation Sport after taking his charges through their paces in a mid-morning training session at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday, the Scot said:
“To be honest, he (Origi) has an issue with his passport. He is trying to get a Norwegian nationality so that he can stay in Europe. His club never wanted him to come anyway.”
Williamson was however optimistic that his options in camp, which includes inform Gor Mahia custodian Boniface Oluoch, who has so far kept ten consecutive clean sheets in league matches, Wycliffe Kasaya (AFC Leopards) and upcoming Posta Rangers goalie Ian Otieno will ably fill the void.
GOOD PLAYERS IN CAMP
The decision by Origi to keep off from the team does not come as surprise though. He has in the past launched scathing attacks on the football management in the country, the latest coming at the height of the FKF-KPL supremacy contests in February.
Williamson at the same time said that he is drawing confidence from the fact that his defense kept two clean sheets in their two matches in the Genocide Memorial Cup that took place in Kigali, Rwanda last weekend after holding the hosts to a barren draw before beating South Sudan 2-0.
Skipper Victor Wanyama who has been linked with a move from Southampton in the English Premier League said:
“The fact that Origi will not be there should not worry us. We have good players in camp who can step up in his absence. We have to remain focused.”
The players in camp were upbeat about their chances in the coming match.
“We know it will be tough match but will give our best,” said striker Allan Wanga who is primed to lead the attacks in the absence of former captain Dennis Oliech.
The team departs for Congo on Friday.
Full squad – goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Wycliffe Kasaya (AFC Leopards), Ian Otieno, Boniface Baraza (Posta Rangers).
Defenders: David Ochieng (Al-Tawoon, Saudi Arabia), David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Harun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Brian Mandela (Sanlam Santos, South Africa), Edwin Wafula, Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United), Charles Odette (Rangers), Evans Maliachi (Muhoroni Youth)
Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Southampton, England), Collins Okoth (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK, Belgium), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC Leopards), Peter Nzuki (Nakumatt), Steve Wakhanya (Chemelil Sugar), Francis Kahata (FK Tirana, Albania), Anthony Akumu (Al Khartoum, Sudan), Kevin Kimani (Tusker), Ali Abondo (Gor Mahia).
Strikers: Jesse Were (Tusker), Paul Were (AmaZulu, South Africa), Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia), Jacob Keli (AFC Leopards), Allan Wanga (El-Merreikh Sudan), Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Timonah Wanyonyi and Noah Wafula (both AFC Leopards).