Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has said that Kenya needs quality players to perform at the top level.
The football chief has for the past few days come under intense pressure following a disastrous outing by national team Harambee Stars that saw it lose 6-0 on aggregate to Mali.
The result ended Kenya’s hopes of gracing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with many football fans calling out Mwendwa and head coach Engin Firat for the poor show.
Mwendwa has however defended his appointment of coach Firat who was handed a 2-month contract by the Federation.
According to Mwendwa, Firat is the right man for the National team and what is actually needed is quality players nurtured from the grassroots.
“Even if you bring Jose Mournho, even if you bring Mikel Arteta….the work that needs to be done is that we need to bring talents to the table. For you to win, you need quality players,” said Mwendwa during an interview with NTV.
Mwendwa’s sentiments seem to echo those of coach Firat who said that he is open to extending his contract with Harambee Stars if he gets assurances that a proper team for the future will be built.
Firat’s 2-month contract has also been a topic of discussion across the football circles but according to Mwendwa, handing the coach a short-term deal was the best thing for the country.
“We have been plagued with tramples around coaches way before I got here (into office). We have paid one coach (Adel Amorouche) around Sh110 million because of just decisions that were not made properly before,” said Mwendwa.
“…We learned from that decision and said never again are we going to have the bad decision that caused us to do that. We had another coach (Bobby Williamson) in transition that also cost us about Sh55 million and therefore when we were hiring a coach, we were very careful never to plunge Kenya again in this kind of situation.”
“We said that it is World Cup qualifiers, we have been making mistakes bringing caches when we think we’re going to make the strides then we fail. Let us bring somebody who after four matches, we can review what they have done and make a decision on that.”
Mwendwa also made it clear that local coaches have in the past failed to deliver and that was why FKF turned to Firat.
“We felt that we have given three local coaches (Stanley Okumbi, Francis Kimanzi and Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee) the chance to do this and we did not succeed in many ways so we looked and said that we need to find a coach at a higher level who can do this in a short-term manner” he said.
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