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Amputee team set for Afcon tourney picked

FOOTBALL By Ochieng Oyugi | October 12th 2021
McDonald Mariga gets a feel of how amputee footballers players. [Courtesy]

Former Harambee Stars and Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga oversaw the national selection of amputee football team that will play in the African Cup on Nations slated for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on November 20-30.

The two-day trial, held at the City Stadium in Nairobi brought together teams from 11 counties.

Albert Mwakenga and Yusuf Juma were on target as Mombasa Combined FC beat Nairobi Combined FC 2-0 in the finals.

At the same time, Joash Baridi scored the solitary goal that earned Kakamega Combined FC third place against Bomet Combined FC in the playoffs. Mwakenga emerged top scorer with 12 goals.

He was closely followed by Turkish based striker Mohammed Munga who pumped in 11 goals for the champions as another Turkish-based player, Brian Oroka, netted six for Nairobi.

“I’m glad to have led Mombasa to victory, lifting this trophy is a great encouragement that the Coast amputee football is on the rise,” said Munga.

Munga, 27, features for Turkish side Sanliurfa FC which he guided to the Premier League this season.

He is among the four Turkish-based players who made it to the national team after the trials.

Other Turkish based players selected include Oroka, Dalmas Otieno (captain) and Nicholas Keiyo.

Oroka is enjoying his first season at Eyyubiye FC in Turkey while Otieno has been in Turkey since 2016.

“The AFCON event will also act as a qualifier for the 2022 Amputee World Cup to be held Turkey. We are confident Kenya will make it to the World Cup going by our current second place ranking, behind Angola, in Africa,” Kenya National Paralympics Committee technical official Ronald Milare said.

“I urge the government to support the selected squad equally like they do to the Harambee Stars and other national sides,” Milare added. 

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