Defender Johnstone Omurwa will not be part of the Harambee Stars teams set to do duty against South Sudan on Tuesday 12 September 2023 at the Kasarani Stadium starting at 4 PM.
The Estrela da Amadora player had a decent outing with the national team in the 2-1 win over Qatar partnering with Joseph Okumu at the heart of the backline, a partnership that many have since referred to as the dream pairing for Harambee Stars.
However, Kenyans will be treated to a different centre-back pairing on Tuesday after coach Engin Firat confirmed that Omurwa has returned to Portugal and thus is among the players from the travelling squad set to miss the match.
According to Firat, Omurwa’s club Estrela da Amadora requested to have the player back early as they prepare to face Portuguese giants FC Porto in the coming weekend.
“The situation with Johnstone is different. They have a very difficult game where they play Porto this weekend and the club requested our support that we allow him to go back early enough so that he gets ready for this match together with his teammates. I think it is good to have a good relationship with such clubs for future engagements,” Firat said at Kasarani on Monday evening.
The Turkish tactician went on to add that Bandari’s winger Abdallah Hassan remains a doubt for the match while Ayub Timbe picked up an injury in Qatar and thus has already returned to China.
He further divulged that Stanley Wilson and Austin Odhiambo did not travel to Qatar as their visas could not be secured following their late inclusion but was quick to point out that he extended an invitation to both to rejoin the team upon return from Doha.
However, while Wilson resumed training with the national team on Saturday, Odhiambo excused himself from the team saying that he was unwell but yet featured in Gor Mahia’s 2-2 draw against Rainbow FC where he scored the leveler.
“Before we traveled, we had some problems because Abdallah lost his passport and we even do not know if tomorrow he will play because it is not solved till now. We would have taken Austin and Stanley but it was not possible to get visas for them late and I asked them to come back for training before we play South Sudan. Ayub Timbe got injured and therefore we allowed him to go back to China and rejoin his club. Stanley is here but Austine sent a message to the team manager saying he got Malaria but on the same day he played for Gor Mahia,” Firat added.