Rupia dropped as Firat names Harambee Stars travelling squad

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga and Elvis Rupia (right) with team mates during training at The Police Sacco Stadium ahead of FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches against Burundi and Ivory Coast to be played in Malawi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Tanzanian based striker Elvis Rupia has been axed from the national team after Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat named his travelling squad for their crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Burundi and Ivory Coast next month in Malawi.

Due to FIFA and CAF's ban on Kenya's stadia for failing to meet required standards, the matches will be held in Malawi's Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

Rupia who plays for Ihefu FC in the Tanzanian Premier League misses out alongside Australia-based forward Bruce Kamau and England-based winger Adam Wilson.

 have not made it into the final Harambee Stars squad that will face Burundi and Ivory Coast in back to back 2026 World Cup qualifiers next week.

Former Gor Mahia man Amos Nondi has also been dropped alongside Murang'a Seal goalkeeper Bonifas Munyasa, Kenya Police centerback Brian Okoth and AFC Leopards youngster Kaycie Odhiambo.

Bristol City defender Zak Vyner and Germany-based defender Tobias Knost have made the cut while regulars Joseph Okumu and Romania-based Erick "Marcelo" Ouma, who were initially out of the squad due to injury concerns, have been included in the final squad.

FKF Premier League top scorer Benson Omalla, John Avire and captain Michael Olunga will lead the striking force while Patrick Matasi, Bryne Odhiambo and Ian Otieno at goal.

Final Harambee Stars squad

Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi, Bryne Odhiambo and Ian Otieno

Defenders: Joseph Okumu, Johnstone Omurwa, Collins Sichenje, Zak Vyner, Alphonse Omija, Erick Ouma, Abud Omar, Daniel Anyembe, Tobias Knost.

Midfielders: Anthony Akumu, Richard Odada, John Ochieng, Chrispine Erambo, Timothy Ouma, Duke Abuya, Kenneth Muguna, Austine Odhiambo, Rooney Onyango and Eric Johana

Strikers: John Avire, Benson Omala and Michael Olunga.

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