Kenya coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee responded in an aggressive manner when asked why midfielder Victor Wanyama was not part of the Harambee Stars squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches.
On Friday, Mulee named a provisional squad of 36-payers for the upcoming matches against Uganda and Rwanda but missing from the list was Wanyama, who is currently enjoying good form with CF Montreal in Major League Soccer.
His omission, as well as that of Simba SC defender Joash Onyango, former Vissel Kobe winger Ayub Timbe and Anthony Akumu of Kaizer Chiefs left many Kenyans questioning why they had been overlooked.
While Goal managed to find why Onyango was left out, efforts to learn the reason why the other players were not included, especially Wanyama, were met with an angry response from Mulee.
What did Mulee say?
“Don’t ask me such a stupid question,” Mulee told a Goal reporter when asked why Wanyama was not in the squad. “If you want to know the reason, come to the press conference.”
On Saturday, a top FKF official told Goal Onyango had been omitted from the squad because he was suffering from injury.
“Joash [Onyango] was left out because he is currently injured,” the source told Goal on Saturday. “We reached out to his club Simba, who are away in Morocco for pre-season and they told us Onyango is injured.
“We cannot move to bring someone to camp that is already injured and it is the reason the coach decided against calling him to the squad.”
Apart from Wanyama, Onyango, and Timbe, other prominent players who were left out are Johanna Omollo, Jesse Were of Zesco United in Zambia, Brian Mandela of Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, and Cliff Nyakeya, who recently left Egyptian side FC Masr.
Among the notable players in the squad are Joseph Okumu of KAA Gent (Belgium), Sweden-based Eric Johanna, Eric Ouma of AIK (Sweden), Al-Duhail SC’s striker Michael Olunga, and the Zambia-based trio of Ian Otieno (Zesco United), Duke Abuya (Nkana FC), and Duncan Otieno (Power Dynamos).
Harambee Stars squad: Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno (Zesco United, Zambia), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya), Joseph Okoth (KCB, Kenya), Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), and Brandon Obiero (Kariobangi Sharks).
Defenders: Joseph Okumu (KAA Gent, Belgium), Eric Ouma (AIK, Sweden), Eugene Asike (Tusker, Kenya), Nashon Alembi (KCB, Kenya), Harun Shakava (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Andrew Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Siraj Mohammed (Bandari, Kenya), Clyde Senaji (AFC Leopards, ), Frank Odhiambo (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Bolton Omwenga (Nairobi City Stars, Kenya), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), and Baraka Badi (KCB, Kenya).
Midfielders: Richard Odada (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Duke Abuya (Nkana, Zambia), Duncan Otieno (Lusaka Warriors, Zambia), Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka, Kenya), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Kevin Kimani (Wazito, Kenya), Patillah Omoto (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Enock Momanyi (FC Talanta, Kenya), Jackson Macharia (Tusker, Kenya), Eric Johanna (Jonkopings Sondra IF, Sweden) Boniface Muchiri (Tusker, Kenya), and Abdalla Hassan (Bandari, Kenya).
Forwards: Michael Olunga (Al-Duhail, Qatar), Masud Juma (Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi, Morocco), Cliffton Miheso (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Erick Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Elvis Rupia (AFC Leopards), Samuel Onyango (Gor Mahia, Kenya), and Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia, Kenya).