Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne will after all keep his job despite hue and cry from football loving fans.
Harambee Stars elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations showpiece has angered a litany of football followers with opinion sharply divided on whether the Frenchman should stay on as Stars coach.
However in an interview with Citizen Digital, FKF chief Nick Mwendwa poured cold water at the possibility of Migne being handed the sack insisting that he “attained the target of qualifying Kenya for the showpiece”.
Migne will instead be required to table a report from the competition. Thus, unlike other federations that have already fired their coaches on the account of dismal performances, Migne keeps his job.
Egypt, Uganda and Tanzania are some of the federations that have since parted company with their coaches. Tanzania sacked Nigerian tactician Emmanuel Amunike after their dull AFCON campaign, and will have a new coach when they face Kenya on 27th seeking to revenge.
“We have confidence in Migne; he brought back Harambee Stars to the continental football map after 15 years, which is not a meagre achievement. Besides, he showed we can compete against top African teams, evidenced by beating Ghana at home during the qualifiers although in the AFCON the game was different all together. He will tell us comprehensively what he gathered and we see what we can work on going forward,” said Mwendwa.
Harambee Stars lost to both Senegal and Algeria by an identical margin of 3-0, managing a 3-2 victory over neighbours Tanzania in their Group C clashes.
Although Mwendwa was coy to comment on the technical aspect of game, he was sorry Migne’s pivot, defence, in his approach was broken just before the AFCON kickoff ruining his plans.
“The coach is in better position to speak about this (technical aspect), but it is open from statistics defence has been his strength. In the qualifiers he conceded just a goal (against Ghana away to Accra), but he played with only three centre backs (Musa Mohammed, Brian Mandela and Joash Onyango) throughout the qualifying journey.
“It was unfortunate he had to bring a fresh pair at the centre back for the competitive matches following Mandela’s and Onyango’s injuries, and lost right back maestro Philemon Otieno in one of the matches. Although the replacements were quality, fair to say, the sudden change of the familiar defence line spoilt his plans,” opined Mwendwa.
He was however chuffed at the birth of new stars that took up the challenge of the absent regulars, notably Real Mornach’s man Joseph Okumu who played in all matches fulltime, despite going to Egypt as Mandela and Onyango’s understudy.
Although the date for the report is not still fixed, it is clear Migne’s priority upon resumption will be preparing Harambee Stars for CHAN preliminary qualifier against Tanzania set for July 27 in Dar es Salaam.
“We hope to qualify for CHAN; we expect a good start against Tanzania. We have a lot of work ahead, World Cup qualifiers for 2022 kickoff later in the year and there is CECAFA Senior Challenge to defend too. If we qualify for CHAN, it means we will be busy in January too in the tournament. In all this work, we want the coach to continue building from where he has reached,” offered the FKF boss.
The coach will have to update the squad he had named for this duty before departing for AFCON last month, as some of the players have already signed for clubs outside Kenyan boarders.
CHAN is exclusively for players within domestic leagues in the competing African nations, hence the move of Francis Kahata to Tanzania’s Simba SC and Cliff Nyakeya to Egypt among others forces changes.
Another notable figure that Migne will have to do without from his previous list is Allan Wanga, who on Monday announced retiring from the national team duties.
Only John Avire, Philemon Otieno, Bernard Ochieng are available for Migne among the players who featured in the three AFCON matches, for the CHAN assignment as the rest ply their trade outside the country.
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