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FKF fighting to have Origi, Oliech for Stars match

28 July 2014, 17:44

Nairobi - The Football Kenya Federation is working hard to ensure key players are available for the return leg of the AFCON qualifiers versus Lesotho.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is doing everything to secure the release of foreign-based players for Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations second round match against Lesotho.

Kenya will host Lesotho in the return match at the Nyayo National Stadium on August 30.

Lesotho, boasting 1-0 victory over Harambee Stars in Maseru on July 20, jet in on Wednesday afternoon.

FKF is out to secure the three whose clubs are reluctant to release  them arguing that the Afcon qualifiers is not reflected in the FIFA calendar.

The affected players are winger/striker- Ayub Timbe, who turns out for Belgian side FC Genk, goalkeeper Arnold Origi (Lillestrom, Norway) and striker David Oliech (Ajaccio, France).

If released, the match will see the return of Oliech to the national team, two month's after he was kicked out of the by now suspended head coach Adel Amrouche, for skipping training sessions.

CAF slapped a one-year ban on Amrouche for spitting on a referee  during the Afcon 2015 qualifier return match between Kenya and  Comoros in Moroni on May 30.

FKF promised to appeal the decision.

However, Wanyama brothers-Victor Wanyama (Southampton) and MacDonald Mariga (Parma, Italy) are not affected and will be available for the match, said FKF CEO Michael Esakwa.

Saudi Arabia-based central defender, David Ochieng, who turns out for Al Tawoon, was due in Monday.

"We are communicating with the club officials, with the support of CAF who are doing the same. This is a crucial match, which we must win to advance in the qualifiers," said Esakwa.

The winner of the two-legged between Kenya and Lesotho will advance to the group stage, where they will join Gabon, Burkina Faso and Angola in Group C.

The top two teams in each group qualifies for the 2015 Afcon Finals set for January-February 2015 in Morocco.

Kenya is thirsting for a spot in the AFCON finals, having been there five times in the past, the last in 2004 under coach Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee.

Esakwa called on Kenyans to turn up in large numbers and cheer Harambee Stars to victory in the crucial tie.

"There will be 12 players in the match,11 players in the pitch at the 12th player is the fan, fans are important component of the match," he told FKF Media.

- News24


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