FKF President Nick Mwendwa
Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa.

On Tuesday, Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne named the 30-man provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations. The names included in the squad have brought controversy where fans have lamented the inclusion of some specific players. A lot of fans are complaining about the inclusion of two goalkeepers from Kariobangi Sharks.

The two goalkeepers have alternated their places in goal this season, but fans feel keepers from other Kenya Premier League teams should be given a chance too. FKF President, Nick Mwendwa, who is also the owner of Kariobangi Sharks, has responded to these complains saying squad selection is purely the coach’s decision.

“It is an unfair argument thinking that a player should not be included in the national team just because he plays for Sharks,” Mwendwa told Business Today. “If the player is good then he deserves an opportunity. Hii Story ya Sharks itakuwanga tu, haitaisha (The issue with Sharks will always be there)”

“It is a political argument. Only two players from Sharks made it to the squad. What’s wrong with that? Sometimes, people want to bring politics just because I come from Sharks. Should Sharks be closed now that I am President?” Mwendwa charged.

Other inclusions that have attracted controversy are those of Clifton Miheso and Masoud Juma. Miheso has reportedly not played for a while and very few know the specific club he plays for. Many just know that Miheso plays in Portugal but few are aware that he plays for Clube Olimpico do Montijo.

Masoud, on the other hand, has reportedly not played for approximately six months. The striker has struggled to get play time ever since he left Kariobangi Sharks. He currently plays for Libya’s Al Nasr, a club he joined on February this year. Before Al Nasr, he played for UAE’s Dibba Al Fujaira and South Africa’s Cape Town City FC.

Many are complaining about the exclusion of Jesse Were who has been on an undoubtedly tremendous form for his club this season. Were, who plays for Zambia’s Zesco United, was not mentioned among the team with Migne saying that he is not good enough for Harambee Stars.

While announcing the squad, Migne explained why he left Jesse saying the Zesco United striker has never scored a goal for Kenya.

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“For Jesse in 26 call ups, he has never scored one goal for the national team. I know he is the best striker in Zambia but we also have the best striker in Kenya in the list. Today he is not in my list but tomorrow he is there. Always the player has the answer; maybe it’s a good message for him,” the French tactician stated.

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