NAIROBI, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will be missing Inter Milan midfielder, McDonald Mariga when they play South Africa in an international friendly on Oct. 16 in Nairobi.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chief Executive, Lordvick Aduda, confirmed on Thursday that the player had declined their invitation to feature since he is yet to recover fully from a knee injury.
"Mariga has told us that he will not be available since he is still sick. We hope to have him for the next Fifa friendly we are planning for Nov. 14. He is important for us," Aduda added.
The midfielder last featured for Kenya in October last year during their 0-0 away draw with Uganda Cranes in the final 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier in a result that knocked both countries out of the Equatorial Guinea and Gabon championship.
Mariga who was first loaned to Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad then Italian Serie A rivals Parma AC by Inter last season then walked out of the team on the eve of their first-leg 2013 Nations Cup knock-out tie against Togo in Nairobi in February.
He clashed with FKF over reimbursement of air fare incurred when travelling to honour call-ups but after the dispute was resolved, serious knee injury ruled him out of the return leg in Lome as well as Kenya' s opening 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Malawi and Namibia.
Mariga was among the nine foreign based players called up by French head coach, Henri Michel for the Bafana Bafana friendly with captain Dennis Oliech, Norway based goal keeper Arnold Origi, Christian Bwammy, Ayub Timbe, Patrick Oboya, Brain Mandela and Jerry Santos completing the list.
"Oliech has confirmed his availability and we are waiting for the others to respond since we send out the invitations at the advice of the head coach to strengthen Stars since South Africa are bringing their best players," Aduda outlined.
The planned friendly comes at a time when Kenya slid three places in the latest Fifa World Rankings to position 128.
"We have missed to play in Fifa recognised matches since June when we played Togo and we are seeking to improve our rankings before we face Botswana in CHAN by featuring in the Fifa window," Aduda explained.
Kenya are scheduled to play Burundi in the Africa Home Nations Championship qualifier on Dec. 1.