'I DiD MY BEST'

Wanyama defends his Stars' captaincy role

Wanyama accused those who were criticising his leadership of ignorance as he had played a massive role in helping players

In Summary

•Wanyama revealed that it took his personal intervention to reverse Football Kenya Federation's plan to have Mandela flown back to the country for a knee surgery.

•Wanyama who currently plies his trade with Canadian side Montreal Impact also disclosed that he advocated for the treatment of Stars right back Philemon Otieno without success.

Harambee Stars’ captain Victor Wanyama during a past match
Harambee Stars’ captain Victor Wanyama during a past match
Image: COURTESY

After a series of scything attacks from a section of local fans and players, Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama has come out guns blazing to defend his captaincy.

 Wanyama was accused of making decisions regarding Afcon allowances on behalf of the players without consulting them as well as failing to champion for the rights of his teammates in the national team.

 However, Wanyama in an interview with Madgoat TV opened up on his efforts in ensuring that the unpaid Afcon winning bonuses were backdated and his intervention in having Stars' centre back Brian Mandela treated in France.

Mandela suffered a knee injury while in France, where Stars had camped in preparation for the continental tournament.

Wanyama revealed that it took his personal intervention to reverse the Football Kenya Federation's plan to have Mandela flown back to the country for knee surgery.

"They wanted Mandela to return home after the injury but I intervened and pushed for his treatment which included surgery in France, thanks to their better medical facilities. I would not have sat pretty to watch a player who got injured while on duty being given the short end of the stick. I also fought for him to accompany the team to Egypt for the finals. Had FKF declined the request, I was willing to pay for his flight and accommodation in Egypt," he said. 

Wanyama, who currently plies his trade with the Canadian side, Montreal Impact also disclosed that he advocated for the treatment of Stars right back Philemon Otieno without success.

Otieno was stretchered off during a Chan qualifier return match against Tanzania held last year at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani but had to rely on well-wishers and donations for his surgery. 

Wanyama said he took the matter with the federation who assured him they will facilitate for Otieno's medical bills. Efforts to reach Nick Mwendwa for a comment were futile. 

"I told them it was unfair to neglect a player who got injured while serving the national team. I approached Mwendwa who said that Otieno reported to the camp already injured but he assured me they will take care of that. I think Otieno's sin was reaching out to the media to have his plight known. I never gave up, I kept on pushing for his treatment, " he added. 

Wanyama accused those who were criticising his leadership of ignorance as he had played a massive role in helping players and promoting local football albeit behind the scenes.

Last week on the same channel, Stars left-back Abud Omar said Wanyama had agreed on the Afcon allowances package offered by the federation without having a word with the rest of the squad.

" I have been hot on the heels of the federation to pay players their allowances and meet their promises. I am the kind of a player who will help without necessarily making it public or bragging. I have helped a host of players get deals and fought for their welfare. I think it's disrespectful for anyone especially a player to point fingers at me. I urge players to remain disciplined both in the changing room and on the pitch, " he said.