19 March 2003

Kenya/Mauritania: Harambee Stars Recall Agunda

Nairobi — Midfielder Ben Agunda has been recalled to the national team Harambee Stars ahead of next week's African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Mauritania.

Agunda, who plays in Yugoslavia, had his first training session with the team yesterday morning.

Team manager David Ochieng said they have brought Agunda back to the team with a view to assessing his form for possible inclusion in the Mauritania match.

He said Agunda was in the country on holiday and had recalled him for assessment.

"We want him to train with the rest and if he is good enough we will consider him just like everybody else," said Ochieng.

Ethiopia-based Francis Chinjili is already in the country and has joined the team.

The manager said striker John Baraza arrives on Friday after attending two-week trials in Sweden.

Ramadhan Balala who was expected this week is not coming until March 23.

The Oman Football Association wrote to Kenya Football Federation (KFF) saying Balala can only be released as per the Fifa requirements which stipulate that a player is allowed to join his country at least five days before a scheduled international match.

Also arriving on March 23 are John Muiruri, who is based in Belgium, and Paul Oyuga who plays in Sweden.

Captain Musa Otieno jets in on March 25 after turning out for his South African side in a crucial League match.

Meanwhile, Kenya Football Federation (KFF) secretary, Hussein Swaleh, yesterday said that Harambee Stars will play one build-up match before they confront Mauritania in the Nations Cup qualifier on March 29, adds Dennis Mabuka.

Swaleh said Harambee Stars are likely to play Rwanda or neighbours Tanzania before the decisive encounter against Mauritania at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani.

"We are awaiting confirmation from Rwanda and we hope to play them before this weekend," said Swaleh.

Since moving to camp three weeks ago, Harambee Stars have played one international friendly match against Uganda Cranes.

The match at Kasarani ended in a 2-2 draw.

Swaleh said Stars coach Jacob "Ghost" Mulee had hinted to him that he wanted to play one friendly match before he faces Mauritania.

Stars are topping their group after collecting six points.

Harambee Stars started the qualifiers with a 3-0 drabbing of Togo before thrashing Cape Verde 1-0.

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