Lobby Moves to Rescue Retired Kenyan Sportsman Detained in the US
Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) says it will explore all avenues in a bid to rescue former Harambee Stars midfielder Crispin Olando, who is being detained in the United States.
Olando, 32, was arrested on March 18th, 2020 by officers from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for violating immigration rules.
He is being held at the Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro, Louisiana after he was denied bond.
Olando moved to the US in January 2013 in search of greener pastures as a footballer but failed to secure a professional deal with any top-tier side despite undergoing trials with Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps.
He opted to play in the lower tiers of domestic football in the US before retiring from professional football.
Kefwa secretary-general Jerry Santo told People Sports that they will engage FIFPro and the US Professional Players Association to try and secure Olando’s freedom.
“Firstly this is an extremely sensitive case but at the same time it lacks clarity. We need to find out the real reasons behind Olando’s detention and then subsequently begin a course of action. One of the options on the table is to try and ask assistance from FIFPro if at all he was enlisted as a member in the USA,” he said.
“Kefwa will also try and get word from some of his close family members to get a proper picture because something does not add up considering US has visa policy for people and for his case I would think the multiple visa entry rule applies which is five years with possible extension.”
“It makes it hard because we have not been in touch with him for so long and thus it is tricky but before we engage immigration officials we have to satisfy all avenues within range,” Santo added.
Prior to relocating to the US, Olando won back-to-back Kenya Premier League (KPL) titles in the 2011 and 2012 seasons with Tusker FC after joining from Thika United.