The Kenya tactician has affirmed his desire to pick local players at the expense of their foreign-based compatriots who rarely play
Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has reiterated his stance of leaving out less active foreign-based players in future call-ups.
Victor Wanyama, Erick Johanna, Johanna Omollo and Ayub Timbe were the players who were left out of the squad that participated in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt and Togo.
“Living abroad does not automatically qualify you to play for the national team. There will be no nepotism and links as far as selection is concerned,” Mulee told The Star.
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“I’ll not allow anyone to influence the selection process. It is my work to look and examine who qualifies or not. I’m looking for players who are Kenyan to the bone marrow and can sing the national anthem without any difficulties.
“I want to absorb players who are actively involved in competition and are performing week in week out.”
Mulee has also revisited the challenges they faced during the Afcon qualifiers as far as the coronavirus tests and results are concerned.
“We fell victims during our Afcon matches against Comoros and Togo in Moroni and Lome respectively,” said the tactician.
“Left in the hands of the host teams, the procedure is subject to manipulation with false positive and false negative reports being returned mainly to weaken the opposition.
“You remember what befell us in Togo where the federation claimed that our key striker Michael Olunga tested positive for Covid-19.
“Curiously though, Olunga tested negative in Nairobi and even flew back to Qatar and got involved in top-flight matches for Al Duhail as soon as landed.”
The former Tusker coach also reacted to the postponement of World Cup qualifiers from June to September.
“Postponing the matches to September was a good idea. Teams now have sufficient time to prepare for Africa World Cup qualifiers,” Mulee continued.
“I welcome the whole idea considering our league was halted in March and our local-based players had not been active until last Friday when competition resumed.
“They now have a chance to shake off the rust and I also have an opportunity to monitor and gauge their performance in league encounters ahead of the qualifiers.
“I hope to link up with the squad soon enough to prepare them for Africa World Cup qualifiers set for September.”
For the World Cup qualifiers, Kenya are in Group E alongside Rwanda, Uganda and Mali.