Kimanzi or bust

January 21, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, January 21 – Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech has threatened not to play for the national football team Harambee Stars unless immediate former coach Francis Kimanzi is reinstated.

Kimanzi was sacked last Sunday but speaking to Capital Sport from his France base on Tuesday night, Oliech said that FKL had made a grave mistake by firing the former coach and said that he would only turn up for the team if he is back.

“I am saddened with the decision to sack Kimanzi and if they do not reinstate Kimanzi then I will not be available for selection as I feel we are taking a major step backwards,” said Oliech who also doubles up as Stars’ vice captain.

Oliech added that FKL should give the real reasons behind the sacking of Kimanzi.
 “A coach should be sacked because of poor results, not because of friendly matches that are not even in the Fifa calendar. If it was that important, why didn’t we play Egypt on Fifa internationals date?” he pondered.

Oliech said Kimanzi had improved the team tremendously and that sacking him would undo all the improvement they made last year.

“By sacking Kimanzi, FKL has taken us back a year ago, when we could not match up to the rest of Africa. We should have stuck with Kimanzi to keep the momentum we have until the end of the qualifiers,” he said adding, “We seem to be going back to the old days when decisions would be made without putting the team into consideration,” he added.

Oliech is Kenya’s most famous export. The Stars vice captain was top scorer in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers with four goals.

He made his debut for Stars in 2002, when Kenya lost to Nigeria 3-0.

Oliech  turned professional in 2003 playing for Al-Arabi, Qatar until late 2005. In 2004 he was offered Ksh 200 million to change his citizenship form Kenyan to Qatar.

He then signed a 4-year contract with the French Ligue 1 team FC Nantes in 2005 and started playing for them at the start of 2006.

Nantes were relegated in 2007 after finishing bottom of Ligue 1 and Oliech moved to Auxerre FC. In January 2008, Auxerre made the move permanent.


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