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Kenya's striker stripped of football captaincy

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-10 09:34

NAIROBI -- Record goal scorer and French Ligue 1 side Ajaccio forward Dennis Oliech has been stripped of the captaincy of Kenya's national team over disciplinary issues.

Belgian head coach Adel Amrouche confirmed to website that Celtic FC star Victor Wanyama who skippered the side during their 1-0 loss at home to Nigeria in their 2014 World Cup qualifier has been elevated to the position full time.

"It's time to make changes to the side and Wanyama remains the captain even after Oliech's suspension is lifted. He has not set a good example to his teammates since he arrived to camp late and his off-field activities leave a lot to be desired," Amrouche added before the team's departure to Malawi for their Brazil Mundial qualifier next Wednesday.

The coach brought Oliech's reign as skipper to a close following outrage expressed when members of the team, including the deposed captain were pictured in an entertainment joint in Nairobi three days before they faced the Super Eagles while they were supposed to be in training camp.

Midfielders Jamal Mohammed and Patrick Osiako were also photographed with the former causing more umbrage when he was splashed in the front page in a leading local daily, The Standard, smoking a shisha pipe.

Oliech succeeded former South Africa side Sanlam Santos defender Musa Otieno as the captain under the reign of Jacob Mulee having made his debut in 2002.

Despite being one of the most accomplished players for the team, his off-field antics including declining to stay in the team's camp to go clubbing have blighted his legacy as the country's record scorer who has netted 34 goals.

He was suspended for the Super Eagles tie in Nairobi having picked up two yellow cards, the last one coming on March 23 when Stars forced the reigning African champions to a 1-1 draw at their Calabar backyard.

Kenya are bottom of their Group F of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers on two points following their loss to leaders Nigeria who are on eight with Malawi (six) and Namibia (four) also in their pool.

Contacted on Sunday, Oliech said he is ready to play for the national team after serving his one match ban. The team left for Malawi through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday.

"I will be available in the next match and we want to win so that we can give our fans something to savor. We have to take each game at a time and not rule out our chances as much as the odds might be against us," he said.

"This is a very young team and we should focus on nurturing it then we can deliver in time when we strike the balance," he added.

Kenya play Malawi on Wednesday in Maputo. A draw or loss for Malawi will also see then out of the qualification process.

Nigeria lead the group with eight points from four matches. Malawi has six points after they drew 0-0 with Namibia, while Kenya is last in group F with just two points.

Only the group winner goes through to the next round, where the winners of the 10 groups will play on one off, home and away, to determine the five winners to go to brazil. Africa has been given five places in the World Cup finals in 2014.

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