‘Where is Omala?’ - Fans cry after ommision of Gor, AFC players from Harambee Stars

‘Where is Omala?’ - Fans cry after ommision of Gor, AFC players from Harambee Stars

Joel Omotto 19:00 - 29.08.2023

K’Ogalo and Ingwe do not have a representative in Harambee Stars’ provisional squad for friendlies against Qatar and South Sudan and their supporters aren’t impressed

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans have questioned why the two teams did not have a player selected in the Harambee Stars’ provisional squad for their two friendly matches against Qatar and South Sudan next month.

Stars coach Engin Firat named a provisional squad of 25 which has a mix of foreign and local-based players but only Kenya Police, who have five players in the team, KCB, Bandari and Kakamega Homeboyz, with one each, have representatives from the FKF Premier League sides.

However, Gor and Leopards fans on social media took great exception at not having a player in the national team, with last season’s 26-goal striker Benson Omala’s absence among those questioned.

“Where is Omala Benson now?” asked one fan online, while reacting to the squad.

“Without Gor and AFC Leopards, there's no team here. This is Police Stars,” commented another supporter.

“No K’Ogalo or Ingwe player, where will fans come from?”

“You mean big teams like AFC Leopards and Gor never produced any player,” was the response of another fan as some questioned how FKF Premier League champions can fail to have a player in the national team.

“How did they win the league if they have no player who can be in a national team?” he posed.

However, some supporters feel Firat should be allowed to select whoever he wants since he will be the one responsible if the results are not impressive.

“Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans are having a meltdown. Calm down and support the boys. Have you seen fans of Murang’a Seal complaining?” posed another supporter.

“The so-called Gor players and AFC Leopards players were given the chance last time but they really failed us.”

Captain Michael Olunga, who plays for Qatar champions Al Duhail, Saudi Arabia-based Masud Juma, Stade de Reims’ Joseph Okumu, Portugal-based Johnstone Omurwa, Eric Ouma of AIK of Sweden, Amos Nondi, based in Armenia and Richard Odada, who swapped the US for Denmark this month, are among the 17 foreign-based players in the squad.

However, some fans feel some of the call-ups, who rarely play at their foreign clubs, should have given way to local-based players who are regulars for their sides.

“Antony Akumu does not even make bench at Sagan Tosu but is in the squad?” posed another fan, in regards to Akumu’s inclusion despite not featuring for his Japanese top flight side in the league since joining them last December.

Kenya will play 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar away match on September 7 before hosting South Sudan five days later and Firat will be using the matches to gauge his players before the 2026 World Cup qualifiers which begin in November.