Cecafa's tough rules now forces Harambee Stars tactician to turn to the players he kicked out of camp for the quarter-final match in Cecafa tourney
Kenya coach James Nandwa has requested Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to facilitate the return of youngsters Paul Were and Kevin Omondi, who were expelled from the team’s camp two days ago.
Speaking after Kenya crushed Ethiopia 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the regional tournament in Kampala, Uganda on Friday, the tactician said, “since the players have apologized and accepted that they had wronged, I ask the federation to have them back in camp.”
“Now that we have qualified for the quarters, we need to have a strong team of 18 players and since Cecafa rules do not allow us to make replacements…it will be prudent if Kenya FA facilitates the return of the players.”
AFC Leopards’ Were and Gor Mahia’s Omondi were expelled from Stars camp for alleged indiscipline and immediately flown to Nairobi.
On Friday, Kenya FA President Sam Nyamweya confirmed that the federation was not intending to take further action on the duo.
“We have decided to pardon them and give them another chance. The federation will not be taking any further disciplinary action on the players as earlier announced and they remain available for national team selection in future because they are still our sons and among the best players we have in the country, so their presence in the national team would still be crucial in future."
"We want this issue to come to and end and would like to request the media and their respective clubs to keep off the matter from now on and stop condemning the duo."
Following the win over Ethiopia, Kenya romped into last eight of the competition joining champions Uganda Cranes and Burundi.
Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye had revealed to Goal.com that it will be difficult for Kenya to have replacements for Were and Ochieng owing to rules.