Kenya’s key midfielder out of Africa Nations Cup qualifierFebruary 29th, 2012 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS
Nairobi, Feb 29 (IANS) Kenyan midfielder Macdonald Mariga, who plays for Italian club Parma, has withdrawn from the national team’s match against Togo in the 2013 Africa Nations Cup qualifier match here Wednesday over non-payment of dues.
The player failed to convince the federation to offset his air tickets dues of $16,000 which have been accruing since last year.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chief Executive Ludovick Aduda however, said it was wrong for the Serie A player to turn his back on the national team since he was not the only one yet to be paid his dues.
“There are other players, who ply their trade abroad that have not been paid and they have not withdrawn from the team. He should be patriotic and agree to play. At the end they will all be paid,” Aduda was quoted as saying by Xinhua Tuesday.
Mariga had Monday vowed not to play unless he was refunded back the money owed to him but it became apparent that the federation owes many more players who have used their money to pay for flight tickets.
Mariga, together with Auxirre striker Dennis Oliech and Celtic midfielder Robert Mugubi linked up with the rest of the Kenya team in Nairobi Monday from Europe to bolster the squad that eyes to return to the Africa Nations Cup after their last show in Tunisia in 2004.
But that campaign, which starts Wednesday against Togo, will be without the Parma midfielder, who has pulled out.
Team Captain Oliech came to the defence of the player Tuesday urging the federation to refund him and allow him to train with the team.
“He is a very important player and the issues he has raised are valid. This is a chance for us to ensure we qualify for the cup of nations. The federation should pay him and ensure that he is available for this match because we need him,” he said.
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- Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions reach South Africa - Nov 15, 2009
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- Juventus draw with Parma in Italian Serie A - Feb 16, 2012
Tags: africa nations cup, africa nations cup qualifier, air tickets, celtic, chief executive, dennis oliech, feb 29, fkf, flight tickets, italian club, kenya team, macdonald, match, nairobi, out of africa, parma, striker, team captain, togo, xinhua