Harambee Stars defender Aboud Omar clears the air on March altercation with Eric Johana

Harambee Stars defender Aboud Omar clears the air on March altercation with Eric Johana

Mark Kinyanjui 06:00 - 29.05.2024

Abud Omar has explained how Firat solved the situation after he was involved in an altercation with Eric Johana Omondi, which resulted in him being booted from camp.

Harambee Stars left back Aboud Omar has opened up on his altercation with Eric Johana Omondi that eventually resulted in both players being excommunicated from their camp before they jetted out to Malawi for the Four Nations Tournament last March.

Omar, who played a key role during their 5-0 rout of Seychelles last November, is one of the most experienced heads in the current camp, given he featured prominently at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where Kenya were eliminated at the group stage level.

His expulsion from camp left coach Engin Firat with no choice but to draft in AFC Leopards’ Vincent Mahiga and Gor Mahia’s Geoffrey ‘Simity’ Ochieng, given the other senior fullback Erick ‘Marcelo’ Ouma was out through injury.

However, he returned to the squad for the upcoming games against Burundi and Ivory Coast as Stars’ journey towards getting their first-ever ticket to the 2026 World Cup continues gearing up.

Explaining his decision, Firat acknowledged the disciplinary issues but emphasized the players' understanding of national team standards. 

“I was unhappy about their discipline. Nonetheless, they know how to conduct themselves in the national team. I won’t close the door. Now they can show that they deserve to be here," Firat said.

Now, Omar has given his side of the story, further revealing his delight at having been back in the squad.

“It was a bit personal. The coach said we should not disclose it and that he’d be handling the situation,” Omar told Pulse Sports.

“We spoke with the coach after he called me up. After the incident, we never talked, but he did come and watch me against Tusker and then a day or two later, he called me up.

“We went to camp and he spoke to me about it. We solved the issue and it is now behind us.”

Meanwhile, the former Bandari and Tusker left back believes Kenya has a good chance of qualifying, but is adamant their chances against Burundi and Seychelles would have been heightened had they been playing in front of their home crowd in Nairobi, rather than in Malawi.

“We do have a high chance of qualifying given the players we have now . If worse goes to worst, we can finish second. If we had the home support, it would have been better.”

“Without the fans, it will feel as if we are away and it will be difficult for us. We are focused. It will practically be an empty stadium. It will be difficult, but we will try our best. I am however optimistic that if we had the home support, we’d have gotten six points.”

Kenya's journey in the qualifiers started with mixed results, securing three points from their first two games against Gabon and Seychelles. 

The upcoming games are seen as a critical opportunity for the team to improve their standing and boost their chances of reaching the global tournament, set to be hosted across Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

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