Three key players out of Kenya's squad for Zambia friendly

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama (right) celebrates his goal with Michael Olunga (left) during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 14, 2018.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya is using the friendly against Zambia to prepare for the two-legged 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Comoros in November.

Harambee Stars will miss the services of three foreign-based players when they take on Zambia in an international friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium on October 10.

Finland-based custodian Arnold Origi, who was recalled to the national team after a five-year absence will not make it as well as Cercle Brugge (Belgium) midfielder Johanna Omolo and Japan-based striker Michael Olunga.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Barry Otieno confirmed that efforts to ensure the players are in Nairobi for the friendly have not been successful.

"The Covid-19 situation has really complicated things especially cross border travel and that is the problem we faced while trying to convince their respective clubs to release them to join the National Team," Otieno told Nation Sport,

"The restrictions in Belgium, Finland and Japan meant that the players had to quarantine for over two weeks upon their return to the countries and they would miss several important games. We have this afternoon confirmed the trio will not be available for the game against Zambia," he added.

The federation is also sweating over the availability of captain Victor Wanyama who plies his trade with Montreal Impact in Canada.

"We are still in talks with him and the club and therefore we cannot authoritatively say if he will make it or not," Otieno said.

The team is expected to camp at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi but Otieno also revealed they are yet to settle on where the team will train as football is among the contact sports that remain banned by the government due to Covid-19 restrictions.

"We are officially requested for an exemption from the Ministry of Sports to be allowed to prepare for the friendly but we are yet to get a response. We are hoping to sort that out by tomorrow (Sunday) so that we can officially kick off our training on Monday."

Kenya and Zambia are using the match to prepare for the two-legged 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Comoros and Botswana respectively in November.