Kenya has dropped several star players from its starting line-up for two crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches this month including long-serving skipper Victor Wanyama, coach Jacob Mulee said on Sunday.
The shake-up comes as the Harambee Stars prepare to face Group G leaders Egypt in Nairobi on March 25 before an away match four days later against Togo.
The 28-member squad unveiled by Mulee for the final group qualifiers omitted big names including the 29-year-old Wanyama, a former Tottenham star signed to Canadian club CF Montreal, and South African Mamelodi Sundowns defender Brian Mandel.
“As a national team coach, there are some tough decisions I have to make for the betterment of the team,” Mulee, nicknamed “Ghost”, told reporters on Sunday.
“I have selected these players based on their current form and activeness in their respective leagues, nothing else.”
Other regulars who have been left out include Japan-based winger Ayub Timbe and midfielders Johanna Omolo and Eric Johanna.
Qatari-based striker Michael Olunga makes a return to the Kenyan side, which after four matches is third in Group G on three points with only a slim chance of advancing.
Egypt lead the group on eight points, with just a goal separating them from second-placed Comoros.
The top two teams at the end of the group stage qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon in January 2022.