Kenya’s preparation for Zambia friendly continue as Kimanzi names squad
Despite a continued ban on football activities among other contact sports by the government, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has continued with its plan for Harambee Stars to face Zambia in a friendly match set to be played in Nairobi next month.
FKF CEO Barry Otieno confirmed to Nation Sport that they have formally written to the Ministry of Sport requesting for an exemption to be allowed to convene the team and kick off training.
“We have sent all requests to clubs that have our foreign-based players and we are making plans for them to come to Kenya so that we can kick off our preparations. We have qualifiers coming up in a month’s time and therefore the team must train,” Otieno told Nation Sport.
“We know we are in serious times due to Covid-19 but we have clearly informed the Ministry of Sport that we intend to follow all the laid down health protocols and guidelines. We cannot risk our players and everyone involved – we have to be careful and we know what needs to be done,” he said.
“We want football to eventually resume in the country and we continue to engage the relevant government authorities to ensure we do it an absolutely safe environment,” he added.
NEW CALL UPS
Meanwhile, the national team’s head coach Francis Kimanzi has named a 34-man provisional squad for the October 10 friendly set to be played at Kasarani behind closed doors as well as the two-legged AFCON qualifier against Comoros in November.
Among the new call ups is England-based defender Clarke Oduor, who plays for Championship side Barnsley, KCB defender Baraka Badi, Wazito midfielder Brian Musa, Mohamed Katana, who recently moved to Isloch FC in Belarus, and AFC Leopards’ Austin Otieno.
Experienced custodian Arnold Origi also makes a comeback to the squad with Kimanzi also recalling Brian Mandela who is currently unattached. New Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala has been included in the reserve squad.
Provisional Squad: Goalkeepers – Arnold Origi (HIFK, Finland), Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars) Defenders – Brian Mandela (Unattached), Joash Onyango (Simba, Tanzania), Joseph Okumu (Elfsborg, Sweden), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Clarke Oduor (Barnsley, England), Hillary Wandera (Tusker), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks), David Owino (Mathare United), Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Collins Shichenje (AFC Leopards), Andrew Juma (Gor Mahia), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia), Badi Baraka (KCB) Midfielders – Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Victor Wanyama (Impact Montreal, Canada), Francis Kahata (Simba, Tanzania), Eric Johanna (Jonkopings Sodra IF, Sweden), Cliff Nyakeya (Masr FC, Egypt), Antony Akumu (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Johanna Omolo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Brian Musa (Wazito), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia), Katana Mohamed (Isloch, Belarus), Austin Otieno (AFC Leopards) Forwards – Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards), Masud Juma (JS Kabylie, Algeria), Timothy Otieno (NAPSA Stars, Zambia), John Avire (Tanta FC, Egypt), Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi)
Reserve Team – Robert Mboya (Tusker), Stephen Otieno (Sofapaka), Michael Mutinda (KCB), Ibrahim Shambi (Ulinzi Stars) Chrispinus Onyango (Tusker) and Benson Omala (Gor Mahia)