Three players dropped from Harambee Stars squad for 2026 World Cup qualifiers

14th November 2023

The trio include Gor Mahia's experienced left back Geoffrey 'Simiti' Ochieng.

Gor Mahia left back Geoffrey 'Simiti' Ochieng'. PHOTO| SportPesa News
Gor Mahia left back Geoffrey 'Simiti' Ochieng'. PHOTO| SportPesa News
  • The Harambee Stars begin their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.
  • They will first play away against Gabon on Thursday 16 and then against Seychelles on Monday 20 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
  • Kenya are in Group F alongside Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burundi, Seychelles and Gambia.

Three players that had been included in the provisional 28-man Harambee Stars squad named last Friday will not get the chance to represent the country in the opening two games of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Gabon and Seychelles.

This is after the trio were released from camp on Tuesday ahead of the team’s departure to Franceville, Gabon on Wednesday.

SportPesa News can exclusively confirm that Gor Mahia left back Geoffrey Onyango, popularly known as Simiti, Kakamega Homeboyz forward Moses Shummah and Murang’a Seals youngster Eric Balecho are the players dropped from the initial squad.

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23-year-old Balecho and the experienced Simiti would have been in line for their debuts in the national team had they made the travelling party for the qualifiers.

Elsewhere, former Gor Mahia defender Dennis Ng’ang’a, who is currently based in Zambia with Zanaco, received a late call up to the national team and is expected to provide defensive cover in a backline plagued with injury problems.

The composed defender was brought in as Joseph Okumu awaits to pass a late fitness test, subject to his release from his parent club. Okumu picked up a knock in Stade Reims’ French Ligue 1 match against PSG.

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Defender Daniel Anyembe has also been ruled out of the two qualifiers owing to an injury he sustained at club level.

Eric Ouma, in the meantime, is in camp but will wait to be assessed by the team’s medical staff to determine whether he could play a part in the qualifiers after sustaining a knock in his last match for his club in Sweden.

According to a communique from the federation, Harambee Stars will depart for Gabon on Wednesday at 8am EAT and will arrive at 11 am EAT.

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They will first play against Gabon on Thursday 16 November in Franceville and then against Seychelles on Monday 20 November in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Kenya has been drawn in a tricky Group F of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Burundi, and Seychelles.

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