Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne’s provisional squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations has left Kenyan football fans expressing their opinions at certain choices the Frenchman tactician has made.
Top of the list of complaints was the omission of Zesco United forward Jesse Were as well as defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng from the list. Both players had also not been named in the squad that played Ghana in their last AFCON qualifier.
Migne was asked once again why he overlooked the two, and he said his decision was purely based on what he thought best for the team.
“It’s a choice and it’s always difficult. I need to try to harmonize not the best 23 players in my list but the best group,”
Jesse; Not in today, maybe tomorrow
“For Jesse in 26 call ups he has never scored one goal for the national team. I know he is the best striker in Zambia but we also have the best striker in Kenya in the list. Today he is not in my list but tomorrow he is there. Always the player has the answer; maybe it’s a good message for him,” the tactician stated.
On Ochieng, Migne said he personally called the defender and personally relayed the message he will not be included in the team.
Cheche’s game ‘not enough’ for Kenya
“With Cheche what I saw during the last game with Leopards was not enough for him. For me he was not ready to play in the high level. Were (Paul) showed me that he wants to participate. Also Piston gave me a lot last year and in India when nobody was there but for me he didn’t play enough, he didn’t perform enough with his club,” Migne further stated.
Jesse has hit double digit goals for Zambian Premier League side, Zesco United. In 2017, he scored 18 goals in the league, three in the CAF Champions League and two in the Barclays Cup to bring his season tally to 23.
Aston Villa sign Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta
27-year-old becomes first Tanzanian to play in the English Premier League
English Premier league side Aston Villa have completed the signing of Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta for £10m on a four-and-half-year deal, subject to a work permit and international clearance.
The 27-year-old scored 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal against Liverpool at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Villa manager Dean Smith hailed the signing “I’m really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club, he has scored goals throughout his career and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Samatta makes history as the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League but will be unavailable for Villa’s home match against Watford on Tuesday.
Samatta who is captain of the Tanzanian national side expressed his joy at making the move “I’m so excited, it’s a huge step for me in my career. It’s a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League.
“I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch Gabby Agbonlahor when he was here.”
Samatta is Villa’s third signing of the January transfer window following loan signings of midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.
Kenyan U-20 rugby star Brighetti switches to Italy
Michele Brighetti set to feature in 6 Nations Tourney for European giants
Kenya’s under-20 Michele Brighetti is set to switch sides and make his debut at the 2020 Six Nations U-20 Championships, following his call-up to the Italian 24-man Under 20 side. Brighetti has featured in the Kenya U-20 squad, known as Chipu, that played at the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Brazil in July 2019.
Brighetti’s Italian ancestry and the fact that he has not played for the Kenyan senior rugby team means that he enjoys some latitude to switch national sides. According to World Rugby regulations on switching unions (Regulation 8), a player who has not featured in a senior national side may appear for a different country if he meets the eligibility criteria to do so.
The player seeking to change national sides would need to be born in the country he seeks to play for or have at least one parent or grandparent born in the country in question. The third and last criteria would be that he has ‘completed thirty six consecutive months of residence immediately preceding the time of playing’.
Michele is the son of former Kenya Scorpions international and Nondies Rugby Club player, Marco Brighetti. The youngster left Kenya in 2019 to join the Accademia Nazionale “Ivan Francescato” in Italy.
The school is an elite player development rugby academy in Italy run within the Federazione Italiana Rugby: They customarily select the best U-16, U-18 and U-20 players who are considered good prospects and can eventually be developed into future senior national team players.
Kenya’s Malkia Strikers to Make Triumphant Return to Olympics After 16-year Absence.
Kenya’s female volleyball side, the Malkia Strikers, are slated to make a triumphant return to the Olympics following a long, cold 16-year absence. They secured their place at the 2020 Summer Games after trouncing Nigeria in three sets, 25-15, 25-21 and 25-12 in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Thursday evening.
The Kenyan team last qualified for the Olympics in 2004 and needed the win against Nigeria to clinch the single available spot for Africa and one of only twelve team slots at the women’s volleyball games in Tokyo.
The final win marks an end to their stellar performance in Yaoundé, where they have won all their games against Egypt, Botswana and arch-rivals, Cameroon- Africa’s flagbearer at the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The team featured exceptional talent such as Kenya Pipeline’s Sharon Chepchumba, who was named Africa’s best attacker at the Africa Women’s Club Volleyball Championships held in Egypt in March 2019. Just three years ago, she was named the Most Valuable Player at the Kenya national and East Africa secondary school games.
Kenya now joins seven other teams (Japan, United States, Brazil, China, Russia, Italy and Serbia) to have qualified so far. Four more slots remain to be filled from Asia, North America, South America and Europe: The winners will be determined by various qualifier games currently underway until 12th January 2020.
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