Football Football

Axe set to fall on Kimanzi


NAIROBI, Kenya, June 18- Harambee Stars head coach, Francis Kimanzi is headed for the sack after Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announced it was seeking to overhaul the entire technical bench.

According to a press statement signed federation boss, Sam Nyamweya on Monday, the fate of Kimanzi sealed ahead of their expected arrival on Tuesday from Togo where they lost 1-0 on Sunday to crash out of the continental showpiece.

The defeat in Lome saw Stars edged out on the away goal rule after carrying a 2-1 first leg advantage to Nairobi and was preceded by another 1-0 reverse at Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Similarly, the fate of some of the long serving players in the side looks sealed after Nyamweya also pledged to inject fresh blood into the side.

“It is indeed a sad day for our football but we call for support from all as we launch a renewed campaign for next year’s qualifiers. We are awaiting the technical report by the head coach and our head of delegation regarding the two matches.

“We are looking into issues of overhauling the entire technical bench and injecting more young blood in the playing unit in our efforts of rebuilding Kenyan football,” Nyamweya said.

The release of the brief confirmed swirling rumours that Kimanzi, who was re-appointed head coach soon after Nyamweya was elected into office on October 28 last year was on his last chance saloon in Lome as FKF mandarins mull over hiring a foreign coach.

In defence of his intended action, the football chief outlined seven grounds proving Kimanzi and his technical bench were accorded unequivocal support for the World Cup and Nations Cup qualifiers that kicked off a fortnight ago when Stars drew with Malawi 0-0 at home.

These include, a week’s training at Kasarani, two-weeks closed door training at Kenya School of Monetary Studies, provision of air tickets for professional players he identified, ensuring captain Dennis Oliech and keeper Arnold Origi were back in the team after announcing their retirement from international football.

Full payment of allowances, three day training camps in Namibia and Ghana as well as full payment of away allowances in advance before they played Togo were also cited.

“The federation gave the team and technical bench all the support in conjunction with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Sport and ensured the team was well received by our embassies in Namibia and Ghana,” Nyamweya added.

And in reference to the scathing attack he received from his deputy, Sammy Sholei, who called for radical surgery in the federation Nyamweya rebutted;

“We request our NEC members to take collective responsibility regarding the performance of Harambee Stars rather than pretending to work as outsiders and if there are any issues, should be channelled before NEC.”

Sholei accused Nyamweya of sleeping on the job as he tore into regional NEC representatives whom he accused of corruption, complacency as well as incompetence in execution of their duties in a press statement released late Sunday.