Firat drops four ahead of Iran friendly
What you need to know:
- Midfielder Richard Odada, who plays for Philadelphia Union in the Major League Soccer, said “everyone was looking forward to the match”.
- Firat said he is not looking for a positive result, but to learn as he seeks to build a strong side for future assignments.
Harambee Stars players in camp for Tuesday’s friendly match against Iran in Tehran say they are elated to be back in action.
The match will mark Stars' return to action since it was eliminated from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in November 2021.
Kenya has not competed in any match since then due to Fifa’s suspension on February 24 last year, owing to the government’s interference in football management in the country.
Fifa lifted the suspension on November 28 after the government headed to its demands, including reinstating the disbanded Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
For the match against Iran, Firat called to camp 30 players including foreign-based ones.
However, AFC Leopards custodian Levis Opiyo, Nzoia Sugar duo of Hassan Beja and Joseph Mwangi and KCB center back Maurice Ojwang’ have since been sent home as the team prepares to jet out on Sunday.
“It was tough (when Stars were barred from international matches due to Fifa suspension) because representing the national team and making it to the highest level is a great privilege,” said midfielder Kenneth Muguna, who plays for Azam FC in the Tanzania Premier League.
“We are happy to be back and the mood in camp is very good. Everyone is friendly with each other, as we work on making sure that we form a group, which can perform well.”
Defender Erick “Marcelo” Ouma, who plays for Swedish side Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK, said: “Not being in action for more than a year affected us so much, so we are very proud to be back.”
“It is another opportunity to make this country great and we are ready for it. The mood in camp is very positive, we are united and are working as a team.”
Ouma also welcomed the inclusion of new faces in the team, saying it increases competition.
Midfielder Richard Odada, who plays for Philadelphia Union in the Major League Soccer, said “everyone was looking forward to the match”.
Firat said he is not looking for a positive result, but to learn as he seeks to build a strong side for future assignments.