NAIROBI, Kenya, July 22- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will begin the hunt for a new Harambee Stars coach if their impending appeal over the one-year CAF ban on incumbent Adel Amrouche falls through.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Tuesday, FKF boss, Sam Nyamweya, stressed they would have a replacement in place should their bid to have the suspension overturned does not find favour with the continental governing body.
“Should our appeal and all other channels of reprieve fail, FKF assures the country that it has alternatives to look at and implement to ensure there is no vacuum in the technical management of Harambee Stars now and in the future,” the statement read.
Having earlier told Capital Sport on phone they had not received correspondence from CAF, Nyamweya confirmed the decision to suspend the Belgian had reached them formally, setting off the appeal process as Amrouche’s future at the helm hangs in the balance.
“Football Kenya Federation herewith confirms receipt of the notice of suspension of our national senior men’s team coach Adel Amrouche for a period of one year by the Confederation of African Football.
“From the outset, FKF reiterates that it stands in solidarity with Mr Amrouche and will do everything possible to ensure he continues with his work as head coach of Harambee Stars. In this regard, the federation will invoke the right to appeal provisions as provided for by the Statutes and policy because the decision to suspend the coach for one year is far too harsh a disciplinary measure to be meted out by CAF,” the statement signed by Nyamweya added.
“However, an individual can’t hold the country at ransom and should the appeal fail, we will consider other options. The country must go on, our team must move forward,” the federation boss earlier told with local publication, The Standard, claiming Gor coach, Bobby Williamson, who coached neighbours Uganda before taking over at K’Ogalo, was an early favourite to take over should Amrouche relinquish his position.
Speaking Tuesday, a bitter Amrouche claimed a media conspiracy to force him out of the job with a series of ‘negative reports’ aimed at ‘disrupting the team’
“People keep saying many things about the team instead of letting me continue my work here. This is not right!” the tactacian who was accused of spitting at a match official in their 2015 Afcon first round qualification tie away to Comoros said.
Nyamweya went on arrangements were in place to ensure that the team preparations for forthcoming return leg of their second round qualifier against Lesotho go on despite the appeal process and uncertainity over Amrouche.
“In the meantime, FKF wishes to call on all Kenyans to be calm as we pursue the options available to us with a view to ensuring that the team is well attended as we prepare for the crucial 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying return leg match against Lesotho and the group stages of the campaign, which we are confident of progressing into,” the federation chief underscored.
Amrouche was initially given a two-match ban that FKF appealed and the Disciplinary Committee sat on Thursday to review his case before CAF’s stunning announcement on Monday they had decided to give the Belgian national the lengthy sanction.
“Yes, these cases do happen. At first, a two-match ban is given before the Disciplinary Committee sits to look into each case and it may decide to give a longer punishment,” Nyamweya explained.
Kenya lost 1-0 in Maseru with assistant head coach, James Nandwa, at the dug-out and will at least play a similar role for the return leg in Nakuru as the appeal process on his boss continues.
Amrouche, who was hired in February last year, was accused of an altercation with the fourth official in their preliminary round 2015 Afcon qualifier return leg against Comoros Island where Kenya drew 1-1 to advance to the second stage 2-1 on aggregate.
It was the second time he has been cited for clashing with match officials after he was suspended for the 2014 World Cup qualifier home tie against Nigeria when he fell foul with the referee in their away match in Calabar that ended 1-1.
Without him, Stars went down 1-0 the team that made the last-16 of the World Cup in Brazil.
Stars have lost only one game with Amrouche in the dugout, a 2-1 reverse to Botswana in a friendly in July last year since he took charge as Kenya jumped from 108 to 95 in the latest FIFA World Rankings.