By Dennis Mabuka
AFC Leopards’ tactician Luc Eymael has come to the defence of right back Edwin Wafula, who was axed from national team, Harambee Stars squad on disciplinary grounds.
Speaking to Goal.com, the Belgian supported Wafula from the red card that prompted Kenya coach Adel Amrouche to axe him from a 25 member squad of local based players unveiled on Tuesday to start preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Nairobi on June 5.
While naming the squad, Amrouche said he was forced to drop Wafula for allegedly elbowing a Chemelil Sugar opponent during their ill-fated KPL Top 8 fixture last Wednesday.
Amrouche said he was unhappy with Wafula’s behavior because 'it portrayed negatively the image of the national team.' “He is a good player but his conduct does not augur well for the national team. However, he is eligible for future call-ups,” Amrouche told Goal.com.
But Eymael maintains that Wafula did not commit the mentioned crime and termed the player as ‘one of the most disciplined in AFC Leopards’ playing unit.’
“The incidence just happened five meters away from where I was standing at the touchline and Wafula never elbowed his opponent…he absolutely did nothing wrong. The referee got the picture incorrectly because the Chemelil player play acted forcing him (referee) to flash out a red card.”
“I have nothing whatsoever against Coach Amrouche but it is good to have it on record that Wafula’s red card was not warranted. The decision of the national coach is always final but ‘Edu’ did not commit the mistake.”
Eymael also praised the inclusion of midfielder Patillah Omotto, who was named the man of the match in their last league match against Tusker, in Stars’ squad.
“That is very positive news to the young lad because he keeps working hard every day in training. He was the best against Tusker and he deserves the call-up. I now want him to keep that performance constant. If he can play like that always, then there are big things ahead for him.”