Austin Odhiambo responds to Engin Firat's scathing attack after Harambee Stars saga


Austin Odhiambo responds to Engin Firat's scathing attack after Harambee Stars saga

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 06.04.2024

Former AFC Leopards midfielder Austin Odhiambo has issued an update on national team exclusion after reaching out coach Engin Firat.

Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo has opened up about resolving his previously strained relationship with Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat.

The talented midfielder's absence from the squad that competed in the Four-Nations Tournament in Malawi in March had sparked widespread debate among fans and critics of Kenyan football. 

Odhiambo, known for his impressive performance in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League, has contributed significantly to K'Ogalo's success this season, netting seven goals and providing numerous assists from midfield.

In light of the public outcry over his omission, Odhiambo shared his determination to don the national team jersey, a dream harbored by many footballers.

 "My main aim is to put on the national team jersey, and I keep on working hard to achieve it as it is every player's dream to do so," he stated.

Addressing the issue that led to his exclusion, Odhiambo confidently declared, "I think it has been resolved, and I am working hard to earn a call-up to the national team."

The controversy surrounding Odhiambo's exclusion dates back to an incident last September when he was accused of feigning sickness during an international break, only to play for his club shortly thereafter. 

This act reportedly irked the Harambee Stars' technical bench, leading to doubts about his commitment to the national team. 

Firat elaborated on the situation, highlighting the complications that arose during a planned trip to Qatar.

 "It is very simple with Austin. Last September, he was in camp here...So, what happened is we couldn’t fix the visa for both of them to go to Qatar at the right time," Firat explained. 

The coach's narrative painted a picture of a communication breakdown, further complicated by Odhiambo's unexplained absence upon the team's return.

Despite the setback, Firat revealed he has left the door open for Odhiambo acknowledging his talent and exceptional performance at the club level. 

The reconciliation comes at a crucial time for Kenyan football, as the national team seeks to strengthen its squad with the best local talents. 

His return to the national team fold could boost the Harambee Stars' midfield options leveraging his current form to enhance the team's competitive edge in upcoming fixtures.

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