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HomecareerDennis Oliech: I Will Change My Citizenship If Asked Again

Dennis Oliech: I Will Change My Citizenship If Asked Again

When Dennis Oliech left Kenya in 2003, he was signed as a player for Qatar Premier League side, Al-Arabi.

A highflying player at the time, the footballer played well catching the attention of top Qatar sports officials.

As a result, he was offered Ksh 800 million to change his nationality from Kenyan to Qatari but he declined.

However, in a sit-down interview with media personality Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki, Oliech noted that he would take the deal if given another chance.

This, he explained, is because the Kenyan government doesn’t appreciate its heroes especially because of the kind of life that he lives at the moment despite sacrifices that he made for the country.

“If I would be given that chance now, I’ll surely take it because Kenya doesn’t appreciate its heroes. That’s the problem,” Oliech said.

WoK had earlier reported on the perks that Oliech would have enjoyed should he have changed his nationality and played for the Qatar National team.

Oliech was offered Ksh 800 million to renounce his birth country and given one hour to make a decision on the same.

“Their national team was not doing well but they have heard there is one player called Ferhan Mesad, a top scorer and they wondered who is he and why is he not in our national team

“I was told to change my citizenship and get paid Ksh 800. They gave me an hour to make the decision. I was asked to call my family and tell them that I’m changing my nationality. Most of the people I called only looked at the money,” he said.

If Oliech signed the deal, he would have represented the Gulf country in the just concluded Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

For the 2022 World Cup, FIFA paid every player Ksh 1.2 million for every day they are away from their clubs, The Athletic reported.

Oliech would also be earning good money in salaries.

According to the Qatar Stars League (QSL), the basic salary of Qatari and naturalised citizen players is Ksh 340,000 (QR 10,000) per month.

The salaries were reviewed in May 2014 to better the life of Qatar National team players.

“This decision was taken to ensure that all the players in the QSL have a decent standard of living and also encourage Qatari players to keep playing football and not to other jobs where the wages might have been higher,” chief of Competition and Football Development for the QSL, Ahmed Al-Harami said.