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Harambee Stars striker Olunga is fit for Comoro

By Webster Nyandika
Friday, November 6th, 2020
Michael Olunga celebrates after scoring against Tanzania during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary

Harambee Stars has received a boost after  ace striker Michael Olunga yesterday tested negative of Covid 19 ahead of the team’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G qualifier against Comoros on Wednesday.

There were fears over the status of  the goal poacher  who currently has 24 goals in the Japanese J-League after 13 players and staff at his club Kashiwa Reysol, including their coach, tested positive for the virus.

The development  forced the postponement of the Japan’s Levian Cup final that was slated for Saturday. 

Reysol, led by their Brazilian coach Nelsinho Baptista, were due to face FC Tokyo on tomorrow at Tokyo’s National Stadium, the main venue for next year’s postponed Olympics in front of a sold-out, socially distanced crowd of 24,000.

“We decided to cancel (the final) with a view to preventing further spread of infection,” a J-League statement said late Wednesday. A new date is yet to be decided.

Yesterday, a top Football Kenya Federation (FKF) official who sought anonymity, told People Sport that they have been in close contact with the club, who confirmed that he was not among the affected players.

The announcement is good news to Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee who had already recalled Masoud Juma to the team as a possible replacement after he had initially omitted him in his provisional squad.

Olunga is expected to join the team on Monday together with Belgium based Johana Omollo, while four other foreign-based players are expected to link up with the team today as the foreign legion begin to arrive for the match.

According to the federation secretariat, Egypt based duo of Cliff Nyakeya and John Avire are set to arrive today and so are Spanish based Ismael Gonzalez and Ayub Timbe who is currently unattached.

Omollo who plies his trade with Cercle Brugge in the Belgian First Division will have to honor a league match for his team against Zulte Waregem on Sunday night from 10.45pm, then immediately after the match take a flight to Nairobi.

Captain Victor Wanyama who plays in the MSL is also expected at the camp on monday.

Stars have a poor head-to-head record against the visitors, but they will be optimistic that they can finally break the jinx this time. 

They meet in back-to-back qualifiers with the  suprising group leaders, starting with a date in Nairobi before they visit Moroni in a charted flight that the teams are likely to share.

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