Harambee Stars coach explains why  Zak Vyner, Tobias Knost missed Burundi game


Harambee Stars coach explains why Zak Vyner, Tobias Knost missed Burundi game

Festus Chuma 09:31 - 08.06.2024

Kenya struggled in their World Cup qualifier as key defenders were unexpectedly sidelined with coach Firat hinting at administrative issues.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has shed light on why defenders Zak Vyner and Tobias Knost were sidelined during the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Burundi at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The match, which took place on Friday afternoon, saw the team manage without two of its newly called-up defenders.

In a post-match interview, Firat revealed the reasoning behind the absence of Vyner and Knost from the starting lineup, hinting at administrative oversights that impacted the team's composition.

"We have five or six players who are injured, but today, three players who were not injured also missed out due to some mistakes that were done," Firat expressed, clearly frustrated by the situation.

The duo's absence was notably felt on the field, with Firat emphasizing Vyner's potential impact.

"We did all our tactical training with Zak Vyner. If Zak had been on the field today, we would have won. Sometimes people need to focus less on what's happening on the field and more on doing their jobs properly. Things that seem simple can be very complex here in Kenya," he noted, casting a shadow of blame on unnamed officials involved in the team's administrative processes.

Zak Vyner, an English-born defender who plays for Bristol City, and Tobias Knost, a former Germany U18 star from SC Verl, recently switched their national allegiances to represent Kenya.

Their addition to the team was expected to bolster the Harambee Stars' defensive line by adding both depth and quality.

The complications arising from their registration after changing nationalities seem to have played a role in their non-participation.

This bureaucratic hiccup could potentially sideline them for the upcoming match against the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions, Ivory Coast, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the same venue.

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