Home » Harambee Stars Coach Engin Firat Breaks Silence After Controversial Attacks by Benson Omala’s Father

Harambee Stars Coach Engin Firat Breaks Silence After Controversial Attacks by Benson Omala’s Father

by Paul Nyongesa
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In the lead-up to the highly anticipated international friendly against Russia, Kenya’s national football team, Harambee Stars, finds itself amidst challenges and controversies.

Coach Engin Firat has been under scrutiny for his team selection, notably omitting talented players like Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala, who has been in stellar form recently.

Omala’s exclusion sparked controversy, fueled further by claims from his father, suggesting jealousy from a senior player in the squad as the cause behind his son’s absence.

“My son is a top striker, but it is jealousy from one of the key players that has led to the coach not calling him up to the national team. This is a troubling issue for me, but I believe the truth will come to light soon,” he told Nairobi News.
“Selection to the national team is no longer based on merit. I wish I could get Firat and face him so that he can explain his decision to me. It must have been influenced, and the issue of jealousy from that senior player is in it, “.

Firat, undeterred by the criticism, defended his choices, emphasizing that squad changes are made based on current form and team requirements.

“The door is open for every player in Kenya (to play in the national team),” said Firat.

“In the last two matches, Elvis Rupia was playing in the starting 11 and he was a goal-getter number one in Kenya. He made a transfer to Tanzania and now he is not with us,” said Firat

 

Despite the off-field challenges, Harambee Stars have been diligently preparing for the game in a training camp in Turkey.

The players are eager to showcase their talent on the international stage and secure a positive result against a formidable opponent like Russia.

This international friendly serves as a crucial opportunity for Kenya to assess its strengths and weaknesses before the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, commencing in November 2023.

The team’s recent friendly results, including a surprising 2-1 victory against Qatar in Doha followed by an unexpected 1-0 loss to South Sudan at home, underline the unpredictable nature of football and the need for continuous improvement.

 

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