Kenya name 23-man squad for Africa Cup of Nations finals

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-11 17:10:25|Editor: Li Xia
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NAIROBI, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Kenya head coach Sebastian Migne has named his 23-man squad that will travel to Egypt on June 19 hopeful to turn around the tide and secure passage through to the last 16 for the first time of the tournament.

Clifton Miheso, who plays in Portugal, Anthony Akumu and Christopher Mbamba are the main casualties axed from the Kenya team for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which starts in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.

Miheso was a late inclusion in the 27-member team, but he has failed to impress the coach.

However, Beijing Renhe winger Ayub Timbe, who plays in the Chinese Super League, has survived the cut despite enduring a knee surgery in January.

In a statement from the team's training camp in Paris, Migne said he was forced to drop dependable central defender Brian Mandela after a knee injury on Monday ruled him out of the tournament while Christopher Mbamba, called into the team recently, also missed out after failing to recover from an ankle injury he picked in his last match before checking into camp.

"Musa Mohamed, who picked up a knock in Kenya's first pre-AFCON friendly match against Madagascar, has been included in the list, as has Abud Omar, who limped off late in the match," Migne said on Tuesday.

"Mandela also injured his knee in Monday morning's training session and has been ruled out of the tournament, while Cliffton Miheso and Anthony Akumu have failed to make the cut."

The team is getting set for their final pre-AFCON friendly match against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Madrid, Spain on Saturday before jetting out to Egypt on June 19.

Kenya are in Group C alongside the Desert Foxes of Algeria, whom they will play on June 23 in the opening match, The Lions of Teranga from Senegal and Tanzania's Taifa Stars.

Kenya's Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed paid the team a courtesy call in Paris and was impressed with the training and the facility accorded to the boys saying it will help them remain focused on the job ahead.

"I had a session with the players. They are very pleased with the facility, the arrangements as well as the support they are getting from the management. We are happy that it is money well spent," said Mohamed.

The government has made available 244 million shillings (2.44 million U.S. dollars) for the team's training and participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.

It is the highest budget allocated to a team with such few members.