Harambee Stars to field weakened side in World Cup qualifier
Harambee Stars will play with a weakened team in their preliminary round qualification match for the 2018 Fifa World Cup against Mauritius next month.
Reports from the team’s camp indicate that coach Bobby Williamson intends to drop three players who were linked to a sex orgy in their hotel rooms before their last match in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Zambia early this month in Nairobi.
Although the identities of the players in question have not been made public, a member of the team’s technical bench said the team handlers are still investigating the matter with a view of taking disciplinary action on the players if they are found guilty of the accusations.
“We are finalizing investigations on the matter. The technical bench is seeking facts about the said incident so that when we drop someone it will not be based on heresay,” our source within the team said.
Other than disciplinary action on the players in question, the technical bench is also said to be considering changing the team’s camp from Mvuli Hotel in Nairobi West, preferably to the Kasarani hostels.
These and other decisions could be made public on Monday after a meeting between the team handlers and Football Kenya Federation officials.
Nairobi News also understands that the team will also miss the services of experienced players Dennis Oliech, MacDonald Mariga, Lawrence Olum and Paul Were over fitness concerns.
Whereas Oliech and Mariga have not played competitive football at club level for the past five months, Were is yet to recover from the hamstring injury he picked up during the match against Zambia. Olum and Brian Mandela meanwhile struggled in the match against Zambia.
At the same time, Williamson has lamented the possibility of having inadequate time to prepare for the upcoming competitive matches.
“The last time out I only had two days with the entire squad instead of five days as should have been the case. This affects our results,” Williamson told Nairobi News.
Kenya has largely under-performed in international matches this year. The national teams were bundled out of the All Africa Games, Olympic qualifiers, and Africa Nations Championship (Chan) by Egypt, Lesotho and Ethiopia respectively.
The team lies bottom of Group E in the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers with one point from two matches. The group includes Zambia, Congo Brazzaville and Guinea Bissau.