The Kenya squad is left with only a handful of players to bring to the tournament in Mumbai.
Ahead of the Intercontinental Cup later in this week, Kenya received a setback with recent reports revealing that Kenyan head coach Sebastian Migne has refused to travel to Mumbai. The move from the Frenchman came after eight national team players were recalled by their respective clubs, leaving only six players in the national team camp to travel to India on Thursday.
Earlier this month, it was reported that two star players of the African country, Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur) and Michael Olunga (Girona FC) will not be travelling with the squad. Now, the recalling of the eight players has severely weakened the squad, leaving only six players to board the flight to India on Thursday.
“He (Migne) is frustrated and will need some convincing to board the flight to Asia,” a source told Nairobi News.
“He was not happy when Wanyama and Olunga snubbed him. Now AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia players are also not travelling. He doesn’t want to work with a weakened squad. He says he has a reputation to protect and cannot be fielding weakened sides and risk losing matches,” the source further added.
Premier League star Wanyama later clarified that his absence from national duty is purely because of his injuries, whereas Girona FC star Olunga did not break his silence over his absence from the travelling squad.
Due to the Intercontinental Cup’s absence from the FIFA International Calendar, the clubs are not compelled to release their players for international duty.
In a likely scenario if the newly appointed French coach does not travel with the team, Mathare United’s Francis Kimanzi has been given the nod to manage the side in India.
The Kenyan national team is set to receive an appearance fee of Sh7m for appearing in the Intercontinental Cup, Nairobi News reports.
Here is the list of players who have been recalled by their respective clubs: Boniface Oluoch, Francis Kahata, Philemon Otieno, Joash Onyango, Haron Shakava and Humphrey Mieno (all from Gor Mahia FC), Whyvonne Isuza, Marvin Omondi and Jeffery Owiti (AFC Leopards).
Here is the list of players who will be travelling to India on Thursday: Byrne Omondi (Tusker), Bernard Ochieng (Vihiga United), Dennis Odhiambo (Thika United), Kenneth Muguna (KF Tirana), Clifton Miheso (Buildcon FC), John Makwatta (Buildcon FC).
Kenya begin their Intercontinental Cup campaign against New Zealand on June 2 at the Mumbai Football Arena.