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Zico takes charge of Harambee Stars against Sudan

Tuesday December 10 2019

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi and his assistant Zedekiah Otieno (left) walk out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on November 16, 2019 after the team arrived from Egypt. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi and his assistant Zedekiah Otieno (left) walk out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on November 16, 2019 after the team arrived from Egypt. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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'Harambee Stars assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno will take charge of Tuesday's Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup Group 'B' clash versus Sudan at the KCCA Stadium in Kampala.

This follows Monday's decision by the tournament organisers to slap Kenya’s coach Francis Kimanzi with a two-match stadium ban after he was found guilty of' ''unsporting behaviour'' during Sunday's match against Tanzania at the same venue.

Kenya beat the Kilimanjaro Stars 1-0 in that game, and a second win against Sudan will guarantee qualification to the semis of this eight-team regional football showpiece with a one group game - against Zanzibar - to spare.

But then, Kimanzi is a notable absentee at Team Kenya's bench as a letter from Cecafa secretary Nicholas Musonye addressed to Kenya's head of delegation to Kampala accuses him of vandalising KCCA's dressing room moments before the team took on Tanzania.

The former Tusker and Mathare United coach was also found guilty of chasing the fourth official from the dressing room and locking his players inside, an action that delayed the game's kick-off by 10 minutes.

That game, aired live on Azam TV, showed the Kilimanjaro Stars lining up and waiting for a couple of minutes before Stars players took to the pitch.

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"He (Kimanzi) should not appear anywhere in the stadium while serving punishment,” warned Musonye.

"The rest of the team officials are also warned against such unsporting behaviour that sets bad examples to the players and painted a bad example to other participants."

Sudan is seeking its first win in the tournament and Zico will have to be wary of El Merreikh forward Ismail Yahya who scored the equaliser in his team's 1-1 draw against Zanzibar on Sunday.

‘Zico’ will be banking on veteran goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo, 35, who impressed against Tanzania and will be seeking only his second international cap.

Other dependable players in the Stars squad are right-sided defender Samuel Olwande who played a pivotal role in Abdalla Hassan's goal against Tanzania, midfielder Kenneth Muguna and Ulinzi striker Oscar Wamalwa.

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