Coach Milutin Sredojevic might have to drastically change his squad for next week’s friendly against Zambia.
As it turns out, eight of the 25 players called for the match in the Zambian city of Ndola will be busy with their clubs in the Confederation of African Football engagements.
Being a World Cup year, CAF has squeezed its competition schedules from the usual two weeks between home and away games to just seven days.
That the designated FIFA friendlies date falls within the same week of the first round, has not helped matters.
FUFA vice president Mujib Kasule said at the federation’s weekly press conferenece that they were in talks with KCCA to release three players.
KCCA, which plays Zambia’s Nkana Red Devils in the CAF Champions League this Saturday has strikers Tony Odur, Brian Majwega and linkman Ivan Ntege on the Cranes squad.
FUFA has zeroed down on KCCA because of proximity. Mujib, flanked by Sredojevic at the meeting, said it was easier for the KCCA trio to connect to Ndola after Saturday’s match in Kitwe.
But this, might not be feasible for KCCA given that just two days after the friendly it will be hosting Nkana. “Three matches in a week and several hours in transit would be a killer for even the strongest player,” complained KCCA coach George Nsimbe before departure for Zambia on Wednesday morning.
Dan Sserunkuuma, Geoffrey “Baba” Kizito and Godfrey Walusimbi, who turn out for Kenya’s Gor Mahia are in a similar situation just like Emma Okwi and Hamis Kiiza at Yanga in Tanzania.
Gor Mahia will be hosting Tunisia’s Esperance this weekend while Yanga will be facing Egyptian giants Al Ahly. Any team would do anything to have their best when faced with such opposition.
Most affected will be the Cranes striking line.
That the only remaining striker Geoffrey Massa is also struggling with a slight injury, means that yet another replacement is required.
The current situation is not helped by the difficulties in securing connecting flights across Africa.
Sredojevic is building up for the forthcoming 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that start after the draw on April 27.
By James Bakama and Swalley Kenyi