- Arnold Origi, the former ‘Kenya One’ claims he will not hesitate to play for Kenya again despite acquiring citizenship in Norway. He said he will jump at any chance to play for the national team.
Origi was Kenya’s stopper for close to four years after he took over the mantle from Francis Onyiso and made his debut against Ghana in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in 2005. Thereafter, he was overlooked after it emerged he had secured Norwegian citizenship.
He feels it is an honor to play for stars again and he has stated that he won’t mind donning the Kenyan jersey again if Harambee Stars Coach Francis Kimanzi gives him a call-up for the next assignments.
“I have dual citizenship and I’m eligible. It’s always a dream to play for my country. If the coach thinks I’m good enough I will honor the call-up,” Origi said.
“Of course I want to achieve more with the national team and there is still time for that because I’m still actively playing and not planning to stop any time soon. The opportunities will still arise to do something great with the national team,” he added.
Origi miss out on eight AFCON and four World Cup qualifying tournaments after his last play resulted in a 1-0 defeat to Guinea Bissau at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on March 27, 2016.
“I cannot let it be a catalyst for regret. If anything I’m so proud of my achievements at club level. I started watching the national team play when I was a kid so every time I play for the national team I go there as a supporter first then as a player,” Origi continued.
He concluded that every loss pinches him inside as he is not only a player but a star’s diehard. “So every time we lose, the supporter in me suffers. I was disappointed by every loss and every unsuccessful qualifying campaign.”
The ball is in Kimanzi’s hands as Kenyans are anxiously waiting to see whether he will consider the player when he names the next squad for qualifiers after the coronavirus pandemic is contained.