Surplus Hubris

After leading Kenya thus far in their unlikely quest to be at the 2010 World Cup and a fairly commendable showing at the 2008-9 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup. The first altercation between National team coach Francis Kimanzi and the Harambee Stars management since then has already cost the former his job.

Francis Kimanzi has been handed his P45 not ore than 24 hours after daring his employers to sack him over their alleged unreasonable scheduling of friendly matches. As quoted in the Daily Nation Mr kimanzi’s grievances over the said friendly matches are as thus

“How can we hurriedly take a second team for a friendly match saying that we are exposing them? This would have been a very unpopular thing to do and I stood my ground that I wouldn’t be part of it,”


“Fifa rules are clear about dates for international friendlies and clubs will not be willing to release players for friendlies that are outside Fifa’s approved calendar dates,”

as well as

“There are specific Fifa friendly dates in the association’s calendar, yet we don’t want to utilise them. Why insist on dates that will have no meaning in our ranking?”

Football Kenya have on the other hand been quoted through their sectetary Sammy Obingo as saying

“FK finds both Kimanzi and Serry totally indisciplined and their continued stay at the helm of Harambee Stars technical bench is not in the best interest of the team on along term,”

Aside from the fact that Since Jacob ‘ghost’ Mulee’s stint in 2003?-2005? Kenya have not had a coach last even 6 months at a go at the job is it really wise for the management to be wielding the axe yet again? And even though he had reason to be upset about the undermining of his authority as head coach, and most of us football fans will agree he has done a failry good job since he took charge, what was he trying to achieve by laying down such an ultimatum to people like FK’s officials? Further to that wwhat will FK’s officials do if the new guy in charge also feels unhappy about the way they do their bisiness. Will they listen to him or show him the door?

His relacement, John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla now takes the reins of the national team just before they take on the might of Tunisia and Nigeria in World Cup and AfricaCup of Nations qualifiers, as well as the unkown force of Mozambique as well as probably that friendly agaisnt Egypt .

ore from KTN

World Cup 2010: So the journey begins

The journey to the 2010 World cup for Kenya’s Harambee began to take shape in earnest with two home wins and an impressive 0-0 away draw against Zimbabwe in Harare (I know, its amazing how given the situation poorly the situation is over there such a high profile global organisation such as FIFA continues to function unabated, but that is another topic for some other blue eyed idealist Joe Blogger to cry about). Anyway after the now near ritualistic dispute over who is really in charge of the KFF and therefore the Harambee Stars, yep after the court order and appeals and the ominous threat of yet another FIFA ban and appeals were gotten out of the way the FIFA approved lot got their way and the campaign finally got away with Mathare United custodian Francis Kimanzi taking up the hot seat and with it the hopes of the uniquely fickle yet fiercely patriotic football fans.

The first assignment, an away match against an improving Namibia side, resulted in last minute heartbreak as the Stars went down 2-1. fortunately or unfortunately Mr Kimanzi only ahd the one week to turn things around l with the doom mongers already starting to surface before the second match at home against group favourites Guinea. The result, a highly reasuring and confident display of counter attacking football and a 2-0 win featuring goals from Auxerre based striker Denis Oliech. That and of course the issues of poor crowd control that have become sadly a common feature with important football matches at Nyayo stadium.

Having got the issue of that first win under new management out of the way the Stars then looked to build up some momentum with another positive result in the first of two matches against Zimbabwe (the second as stated earlier ending in a goal less stalemate in Harare). The result again another impressive looking 2-0 win with the Harambee Stars again showing the sort of free flowing football that has put Mathare United (Francis Kimanzi’s other team) in the driver’s seat in the Premier league.

So now the Harambee Stars sit joint top with Guinea at the top of group 2 on 7 points with matches against Guinea in Conakry and Namibia in Nairobi left and needing only to finish as one of 8 best runners up to make it to round three of the qualifiers their destiny is very much in theri own hands. A home win against Namibia and a draw in Conakry should just about secure qualification though a win against Guinea would see Kenya win their group.

Out in the Cold

Of the many commentaries out there lamenting the inability of Kenyan and East African football to scale the limits of success on the African stage or globally what better way to encapsulate the scenario than in the 1000 word that are a picture.
Thusly while the football pwers that are the likes of Egypt, Cameroon , Ivory Coast fight over the right to the claim of best football side in Africa, our own boys sit at home watching from the sidelines. Maybe with a little more organization it might be a little different next time.

Kenya Scrape through in TZ

Being that this is the first time in two or three years Kenya actually got to the stage of kicking the football around against their opponents on the field in their attempts to win back the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup that they only just scraped through into the quarter-finals on the back of finishing third in a group of four and recording their sole victory over a Somalia team that were never really more than the whipping boys of the group should again raise a few questions about where Kenyan football has been headed ever since the heady heights of winning their first ever match on Africa’s highest stage at the Africa Cup Nations back in 2004. despite coming into the tournament one of the favourites and generally recognised as one of the strongest squads at the tournament even without most of their European based stars, the Harambee Stars first fell 2-1 to the hosts, Tanzania in a game they had a number of chances of winning and were then stunned 1-0 by a previously unfancied Burundi side before they made some effort at compensating for the previous matches by beating Somalia 2-0 in a match which saw their first goals to result from open play (the consolation against Tanzania being as a result of a penalty)

Kenya now find themselves facing a quarter-final clash against Uganda, who have been in considerably better form not only in this tournament but over the past few years, and will be definitely have to raise their game for this match lest they risk elimination from the tournament now that there is no more room for error left in the tournament. Bigger performances on the pitch from the Likes of Allan Wanga in attacking and relative veterans in the squad Andrew Oyombe in defence to name just a few to get into the semi-fials.

Although it may be easy to heap the blame on the coaching when the going gets tough one has to remember that while the current head coach Jacob ‘ghost’ Mulee may not Alex Ferguson, or Jose Mourinho, he certainly is not solely responsible for less than perfect results from the boys considering that he had only a fortnight at most to work with the squad and two hastily arranged friendly matches against Oman in the week before arriving in Tanzania one can see some of the symptoms of a rather undercooked squad starting the tournament performing at less than one hundred percent and with the usual troubles of allowance payments rearing their head even as Kenya prepared for their do or die clash with Somalia a number of questions have to be answered by the board which is still fighting with rebel factions over its legitimacy to run Kenyan Football ,an issue that not only was at the centre of the bungled preparations for the regional U17 football tournament but was cited as a key factor in their missing out on a potentially luctrative sponsorship deal from EABL on how serious they are on taking Kenyan football into the future and until these questions are decidedly answered there is only so far Kenay as a footballing nation can expect to go.