Zico disappointed with Oboya’s absence as Mugabe joins camp

Mar 24, 2011

Harambee Stars coach Zedekiah Otieno is disappointed with Patrick Oboya’s absence for Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Angola.

The player who is on loan at Czech second division side Trinec will not be traveling for Saturday’s match after being detained by his club for a crucial league match this weekend.

The Kenyan coach said he had the player in his plans for Saturday’s match and his speed would have been a big boost for Stars on the left flank.

“It means we have to shuffle the squad around and identify a player who can do what we wanted him to do for us. It is a big setback for us,” he said.

It was always doubtful whether Oboya would make it for Saturday’s game following reports that his club had complained of receiving the request for his release late.

Football Kenya wrote to FIFA on Tuesday complaining against Trinec and by Wednesday the club had agreed to release him for the match.

However, Oboya’s agent Robert Muthomi said Football Kenya should have aggressively pursued the players’ release.

“They Football Kenya were supposed to call his club and confirm certain things but they did not as agreed. The club could not release the player just like that,” he said.

But the absence of Oboya was almost cancelled by the arrival of Victor Mugabe who plays in Belgium.

He became the latest foreign based player to join Stars as the team’s technical bench gets ready to drop five players to remain with a manageable number ahead of Saturday’s fixture.

Stars played to a 2-2 draw in a friendly with Nationwide league side Nairobi Stima but it is a result coach Otieno does not want to read too much into. 

“It was not really a friendly match for us. It was more like a training match whose purpose was to determine whether we have the right combination between our foreign players and the local ones. We are satisfied with what we saw,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kenyan Inter-Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga who is currently at the stars camp says he is not aware about the interest shown in him by Aston Villa.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that the player is a summer transfer target for the out of favour player who is frustrated by being on the bench.

The BBC quoting Talksport said that Villa are lining up a $4.5m tranfer

“I am here and I haven’t heard of any such interest from Villa or any other club,” Mariga said.

Before joining Milan, the Kenyan midfielder had been linked to a move to Manchester City. The move fell flat on his its face on account of Kenya’s poor ranking in the world.

“Probably if another English club came calling, it would not be so difficult to go because of the fact that I have been at Milan for all this months,” he said when asked whether the same situation would arise in future.

He also regretted that this season has been a trying one for him following a series of injuries that have kept out of the pitch.

“It has been a disappointing year and season for me. I have just recovered from a thigh injury and hope to have the chance to play more regularly,” he said.

Turning to Kenya’s match against Angola, the midfielder said luck was not on their side when they drew with Uganda in October and hopes they can beat Angola on Saturday.

 “It is a must win match for us. We cannot afford to blunder at this time or else it is all over for us. We also cannot allow ourselves to be under pressure. We must be calm knowing that a goal can be scored at any point in the match.”


Sportsnewsarena Correspondent

© All rights reserved