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Ulinzi frustrate Harambee Sandsters over call ups

FOOTBALL By Ernest Ndunda | September 13th 2016
Kenya Harambee Sand Stars Beach Football team players in a fitness training exercise at the Pirates open beach on Tuesday August 16, 2016 ahead of their African Cup Beach Football Qualifier against Ghana on August 27th, 2016. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

Harambee Sand Stars coach Rajab Babu is a worried man after Ulinzi Stars failed to release two players the coach had hoped would boost his chances of winning their decisive match of Africa Cup of Nations beach football qualifier against Ghana’s Black Sharks on Sunday in Accra.

“I feel frustrated because I had indicated that I needed Mohamed Hassan and Omar Mbogi of Ulinzi Stars to boost my defence and it is disheartening to see the club has failed to release them for national duty,” said Babu.

“I will be forced to make a number of changes before the team leaves for Accra tomorrow for the Sunday return match,” said Babu.

Babu said he had written to Ulinzi to release the two players, but added that the duo could not be released as the club had congested Premier League fixtures.

“Ulinzi said they could only release the players on Wednesday (tomorrow) after playing Gor Mahia in a mid-week match, which is impossible for me as a coach to have the players in camp in time,” said Babu.

“There has been lack of cooperation from Ulinzi and this could haunt my team in their decisive encounter. We must give national duties first priority and it’s upon Football Kenya Federation now to intervene and see that the club is punished,” said Babu.

According to Fifa rules clubs are obliged to release players once they are called to represent their national teams for no agreement between a player and their club can override these obligations.

Babu said he had identified the two Ulinzi players to boost his defence, since they have the experience of playing in beach football.

Kenya hopes to overturn the 10-3 first leg defeat when they travel to Accra and Babu is optimistic he is capable of beating the Black Sharks at their own turf.

Host Nigeria are joined by Morocco, Egypt and Libya, who qualified by virtual of the withdrawals of Liberia, Uganda and Sudan respectively.

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