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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Why Christopher Mbamba did not start for Harambee Stars against Ghana

1:05 AM EDT 3/24/19
Christopher Mbamba Dennis Odhiambo and Allan Wanga of Kenya Harambee Stars.
The Sweden-based midfield star did not feature in the dead rubber as the Black Stars earned revenge by beating Kenya

Sweden-based star Christopher Mbamba was not used in the Kenya v Ghana Afcon qualifying contest because he lacked proper papers.

Goal understands that the player who was handed his first call to the team, by coach Sebastien Migne, failed to earn his debut in the final Group F match because the Swedish authorities were yet to clear him to play for Kenya.

The 26-year-old turns out for Oskarshamns AIK in the country's second-tier league, and features as a fast-paced winger or attacking midfielder.

He was among the 22-man squad that traveled to Accra to face the Black Stars but did not get the chance to impress ahead of the Afcon finals set for Egypt.

“The main problem was that the authorities in Sweden are yet to clear the player to feature for Kenya. He has received everything, a signed letter from Fifa and also secured a Kenyan passport, but the delay from Sweden was the reason he was left on the bench,” a source told Goal.

Mbamba was born in Zimbabwe but moved to Sweden at a tender age and received his football education while there. He has since enjoyed stints in Norway at Ham Kam and English side Port Vale.

“He (Mbamba) has already turned out for both Sweden's U-17 and U-20 teams and must get clearance from the country before donning the Kenyan jersey,” added the source, who did not want to be named.

In a recent interview with Goal, Mbamba revealed his ambition of featuring for Kenya.

“I haven't played for the Swedish National A-team so I am eligible to play for Kenya. I have watched a couple of Kenyan matches when it's been available. I have been proud and impressed with what I have seen so far.”

Ghana took their revenge through debutant Caleb Ekuban, who scored the only goal of the meeting in the 82nd minute to help the hosts finish on top of Group F with 9 points. Kenya won the first leg 1-0.