Michael Olunga Doubtful For AFCON As His Japanese Side Decline To Release Him

Michael Olunga. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Football Kenya Federation has sought the FIFA Player Status Department’s intervention for the case of Michael Olunga who is yet to be released by his parent club Kashiwa Reysol for Kenya’s upcoming international assignments.

Harambee Stars may have to do without the services of the influential forward at the team’s pre-AFCON camp in France as well as the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after Kashiwa Reysol failed to release the influential forward in time.

This is in spite of Annexe 1, Art. 3 of the Regulations on the release of players to Association Teams, which obliges clubs to release their registered players to the representative teams of the country for which the players are eligible to play on the basis of their nationality if they are called up by the association concerned.

“…any agreement between a player and a club to the contrary is prohibited.

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The release of players is mandatory for all international windows listed in the international match calendar as well as for the final competitions of the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup and of the championships for “A” representative teams of the confederations, subject to the relevant association being a member of the organizing confederation,” reads part of the regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.

It is for this reason that the Federation has sought FIFA’s intervention even as they engage Reysol on Olunga’s release.

“The rules are clear on the expectations and roles of each party. We continue to engage Reysol on the player’s release, this even as we remain optimistic that a decision on this sensitive issue will be arrived at within the shortest time possible,” said Barry Otieno FKF Head of Communications.

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“The continued delay in releasing the player by the club is not only greatly jeopardizing our preparations for the final AFCON tournament but is also not good for international football in general,” added Otieno

Harambee Stars is four days into their pre-AFCON camp in France, with an international friendly match against Madagascar set to be played on Friday, June 7, 2019, in Paris.

Kenya will also take on the Democratic Republic of Congo in Madrid, Spain before they jet into Egypt for the continental showpiece.

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Earlier in March this year, Olunga failed to make it to camp for Kenya’s final qualifying match against Ghana with Kashiwa Reysol citing injury concerns.

Meanwhile, the team’s camp in France is nearly full house. All of the players initially called up to the 27-man provisional squad have already checked in, save for Victor Wanyama, who is expected in France later on Tuesday evening.

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.


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