Reports have emerged suggesting that former Harambee Stars captain, Victor Wanyama, refused to heed a call from coach Engin Firat to play in Kenya’s friendly matches against Burundi.
This follows Wanyama’s troubled relationship with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President, Nick Mwendwa, after the 2019 AFCON games. The former Tottenham midfielder had previously announced his return to the international arena months after retiring, but it seems he is still undecided about a full comeback.
”Am delighted @VictorWanyama has agreed to return fully to Harambee Stars, rescinding his earlier decision to exit the team. In our mission to rebuild our football and elevate our national teams, our elite players must be at the heart of the renaissance.” Sports CS Ababu Nawwamba annouced.
Firat has stated that Wanyama informed him of his doubts about returning to the national team. The coach, however, declined to confirm if he would recall the former captain, stating that the decision was Wanyama’s alone.
“It is upto him. That is probably something you have to ask him. I also read about what Namwamba said, but when I talked to the player, he said he has not made up his mind to make a come-back.” Firat told Mozzart sports.
Firat is currently putting together a team for back-to-back fixtures against Burundi on March 25th and 28th at Kasarani.
In 2021, Wanyama retired from international football after 15 years of service, having played 71 matches and scoring seven goals for Harambee Stars. His last game for the team was against Comoros in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers, which Kenya lost 1-0.
It remains to be seen whether Wanyama will ultimately decide to return to the national team, but his current stance suggests that his relationship with the FKF and its leadership remains strained.