Oboya urges government and FKF to give Wanyama, Oliech, Mariga befitting send-off

Friday, October 1st, 2021 04:00 |
Victor Wanyama (right) of Southampton vies for the ball against West Ham United’s Senegalese midfielder Mohamed Diame (left) during a past English Premier League match in 2016. Photo/PD/FILE

Former Harambee Stars winger Patrick Oboya says the country must come up with ways of giving befitting send-offs to former Harambee Stars captains Victor Wanyama, Dennis Oliech and midfielder Macdonald Mariga after they hung up their boots after serving the country for several years.

His remarks come a few days after Wanyama announced his premature retirement from international football this week.

Oboya who himself retired from active football in 2016, feels that Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenyan Government should do something for the great Kenyan ambassadors as witnessed in other countries.

Oboya says the defensive midfielder, former Auxerre striker Oliech and former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga, the only Kenyans to feature at the coveted UEFA Champions league campaign, should be honoured by the government, just like many African countries do to their football stars, not to mention other European Countries.

When Ghana’s Abedi Pele retired, a big testimonial match was organised for him, that was even attended by the then country’s President.

Many other African stars including Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu, Liberia’s George Weah and Ivory Coasts’ Didier Drogba have enjoyed the same fete.

“The trio made the country proud; these are individuals who played in the Champions League.

We should not just release a press statement saying thank you, they deserve much better,” Oboya told People Sport.

Wanyama achieved the lofty feat of being the first Kenyan to play in the English Premier League- for Tottenham FC and Southampton FC, Mariga won the coveted Champions League trophy in 2010 with Inter Milan while Oliech was a great force in the French Ligue 1 for many years.

“It is on this note that I believe Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Government should give them a honourable send-off,” said Oboya.

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