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Former Stars captain becomes first sports personality to test Covid positive

By James Waindi
Wednesday, July 1st, 2020
Musa Otieno at a Harambee Stars training session in 2018. INSET: The legendary defender on a ventilator at Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

Former national football team Harambee Stars captain and assistant coach Musa Otieno has contracted the deadly coronavirus, but his family members assured that he is out of danger after receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital where is currently hospitalised.

His elder brother Barrack Ouma yesterday confirmed to People Sport that the veteran defender who made 105 appearances for the national team during his days as a player, was indeed suffering from coronavirus, but allayed fears of his deteriorating health after photos of him using a ventilator appeared on social media.

“Coronavirus is real, no one can dispute this and those living in denial should wait until it reaches their doorstep.

Musa started having breathing problems and fever on Thursday and come Friday he didn’t want to take any chances, so he went to hospital and was immediately put on oxygen and rushed to High Dependance Unit (HDU) to stabilise him and from the tests it was later confirmed that he had the virus,” Ouma said on telephone.

He added: “The last person who talked to him was my brother Bernard Olando on Sunday night and he sounded fine and assured us that he was recovering well and was no longer using the ventilator.

We advised him to switch off his phone and stay calm, because he was being overwhelmed by calls from well-wishers.”

Otieno 46, who retired from active football in 2011 while playing his trade for South Africa Premier League side Santos, had been in the limelight through his organisation KickOff to Hope - Kenya which supports vulnerable families in slums and densely populated estates through their food initiative project.

Musa Otieno, the legendary defender on a ventilator at Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/PD/COURTESY

He becomes the first local sports personality to be infected with the virus and joins a long list of global sports stars who have suffered the diseases including world number one tennis star Novack Djokovic, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Juventus stars Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala and AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini with his son Daniel.

Local football enthusiasts  led by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa yesterday showerd Otieno with get well messages as he recovers from his hospital bed.