Football Kenya Federation: Time to reboot Kenya’s football

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Time to reboot Kenya’s football.

There is little progress to report, 16 months since Football Kenya Federation (FKF) hired Frenchman Sebastian Migne as Harambee Stars head coach.

Besides ending the country’s 15-year hiatus from the Africa Cup of Nations, Migne has not lived up to the modest expectations for which the taxpayer forks out Sh2.5 million in monthly wages.

Granted, Kenya has moved six places in FIFA ranking since Migne’s arrival but the weekend elimination from Africa Nations Championships qualifiers by Tanzania is likely to plunge the country even lower in ranking. 

And four victories in 12 matches hardly inspires confidence in a high-maintenance coach who tags along two backroom assistants on the country’s dime. 

From questionable call ups to inexplicable fielding, Migne treated Kenyans to yet another circus of substituting a substitute. It is not often in football to see a player who joins the fray midway give way unless injured. Sunday’s occurrence is evidence of guesswork.

Migne’s defensive tactics in Tanzania made Kenya’s job difficult in the return leg and any hopes of an inspired display in Nairobi were quashed as the Stars looked clueless and colourless in front of home fans before they were finally dimmed. 

Instead of guiding Kenyan football out of international obscurity, Migne has consistently reminded critics that this is Kenya and not Senegal or Algeria. His lowly thinking of Kenya’s football niche ought to catalyse change in national team management.

The onus falls on football stakeholders as FKF elections near. An audit of the current regime is overdue with appropriate response registered in the elections.

Has the game progressed internationally? What is the status of local leagues? Are there commercial benefits streaming in and what has Kenya not done right? These are some of the questions that should determine the regime’s scorecard.

The rate at which top-flight and second-tier teams are folding is a pointer to the poor financial health of the industry. The two divisions are primary sources of homegrown players to anchor the national team.

The government has shown goodwill in supporting the national team with unprecedented budgets. FKF must ensure the financial support is not in vain. 

The federation must liaise with clubs to create structures and systems and coaches to cultivate cohesion at national level. This can only be achieved by a focused national office and a competent technical team.

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