Kenya self destructs again


NAIROBI, Kenya, November 16- Saturday’s 3-2 loss against Nigeria can be looked at from two perspectives.STARS_PLACARDFirst, Dennis Oliech and company showed that with proper tactics and good coaching they can stand on the same pedestal with the best African football has to offer.

On the other hand, Harambee Stars’ performance was the best indicator of how wrong it was to appoint Antoine Hey and to sack his predecessor Francis Kimanzi.

Without taking anything away from Twahir Muhiddin who did exceptionally to prepare his charges for the crunch encounter, Football Kenya Limited (FKL) officials experienced first hand how ill advised it was to send Kimanzi on his way and appoint the German tactician.

Football fans watched in horror as a potential golden era in Kenyan football slipped away through the ineptitude and short sightedness of Mohamed Hatimy and his cohorts.

At the turn of the year, the former Stars coaching staff had assembled one of the best outfits seen in a decade capable of giving well established African sides a run for their money.

The shenanigans surrounding Hey’s controversial pay and his insistence on shunning certain players who failed to toe his line added turned the whole episode into a charade that bordered on the ludicrous.

Impromptu friendly matches that disrespected the FIFA calendar and random training matches left those of the local players disillusioned as the national jersey became less and less sacrosanct.

Like the players, no one ever figured out what Hey’s game plans and his coaching tactics mirrored his lack of success as an international coach.

Hey aside, FKL’s handling of the team and national football affairs in general left a lot to be desired. They turned the team into a money making venture going by their insistence to honour matches against mediocre Middle East teams.

The lack of proper organization during Stars first leg against Tunisia led to FIFA slapping a ban on Nyayo National Stadium which could be extended to Kasarani after fans threw bottles onto the pitch on Saturday.

All is not lost though if Stars performance against the Super Eagles is anything to go by. Muhiddin should now look ahead to the Council of East and Central Africa (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup that starts later this month.

Having experienced the Kenya Premier League from close quarters, the veteran coach should use that to tap burgeoning talent and unleash it on their regional rivals in the lead up to the qualifiers for 2012.

What’s done is done despite how painful it may have been. The only way now is forward and restore pride much needed pride in Harambee Stars.