Were, Keli ruled out of Ethiopia match
Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson is sweating over the absence of key strikers ahead of Saturday’s African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifying match against Ethiopia.
Williamson could be with Paul Were and Jacob Keli for the match in which Kenya needs to win by no fewer than two goals to cancel out a 2-0 deficit from the first leg away in Ethiopia
The eligibility of AmaZulu Were remains unclear after the player was reported to have made a deadline day crossover from South African club AmaZulu to Gor Mahia.
Keli, on the other hand, has also been locked out of the “home based-players-only” clash as he has just completed a move to Zambian club Nkana FC.
However, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Transfers Matching Systems manager Ronnie Oyando said the player’s former club is yet to furnish the federation with the crucial transfer certificate, meaning that the transfer is incomplete.
“We are yet to receive the transfer documents from Fifa, and that means that he is still affiliated to AmaZulu,” Oyando said.
“The International Transfer Certificate (ITC) request was placed a little late, and it is now up to the federation to table a provisional request to Fifa explaining the current situation. Before all paperwork is complete however, he cannot feature for either Gor or the national team,” he added.
Were, who has been training with the national team throughout the week, scored for or Harambee Stars during the African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Republic of Congo last month, and he was very much in coach Williamson’s plans for Saturday’s match.
The absence of the two players places the striking responsibilities squarely on the young shoulders of Gor Mahia striker Michael Olunga, who will do with help from Tusker FC’s club leading scorer Jesse Were.
But Williamson says that the team is not dependent on only two players, although he acknowledges the fact that Were’s inclusion would have been a great boost for the team.
“There are enough players here and if we cannot find one we have options for replacements. It is our hope however that he can finalize the deal on time,” Williamson said.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia are already in the country. The visiting team arrived in Nairobi on Thursday afternoon and are set to have a feel of Nyayo National Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The team will be banking on the support of Ethiopians living in Kenya following a request by the Ethiopian Football Federation to the Ethiopian embassy in Kenya to facilitate the attendance of their fans.