NAIROBI, Kenya, June 18- When the ball left the boot of Serge Gakpe in the 59th minute, the resultant goal sealed the latest mortal blow to Harambee Stars as Togo celebrated advancing to the next phase of 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers.
Once again, that familiar sinking feeling, condemnation and criticism that accompanies each failure of the national football team is upon us.
Once again, the daggers are out for the head coach’s head, with ‘Kimanzi out’ choruses gathering momentum.
Once again, the overlords of the country’s game, on this occasion, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) are sitting pretty waiting to wield the axe if need be to mask gross inefficiency.
Once again, we have been forced to go back to the proverbial drawing board eight years since Stars lifted Kenya by qualifying for the 2004 Nations Cup in Tunisia, winning their first match at the tournament when Burkina Faso were beaten 3-1.
Once again, the wags are out in force, with social network sites Facebook and Twitter producing comical gems in mockery of the side that has degenerated to a farce.
“Harambee Stars need a talk from that pastor who prayed for the couple that had kwamanad (stuck),” Rama, on Twitter handle @__RamzZy__ quaffed in reference to the Meru couple who reportedly got stuck during intercourse requiring the services of the man of God to disentangle.
Once again…… You get the point, Stars failure is a sad refrain, the dirge of a nation’s pride and totem of our tattered football, pity then the players who are subjected to the torture of wearing the national jersey!
For the umpteenth time, ‘sack the coach’ will be the magic bullet solution for Stars by FKF mandarins with the targeted effect of whipping up optimism before the next assignment only for the side to revert to type.
Since Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee led Stars to Tunisia 2004, the following men have had the (dis) honour of occupying the poisoned chalice post.
Twahir Muhiddin (2004–05), Mohammed Kheri (2005), Bernard Lama (2006), Tom Olaba (2006), Mulee again (2007–08), Francis Kimanzi (2008–09),Antoine Hey (2009) Muhiddin once more (2009–10), Mulee for a third time (2010), Zedekiah Otieno (2010–11) and Kimanzi (2011–) for his second stint that if you believe speculation, its about to end.
Those are 11 changes to the man at the helm in eight years; an appalling record that is best proof rapidly replacing head coaches has, is and will never be an answer for Stars.
About an hour after the match in Lome that saw Stars exit the 2013 Nations Cup courtesy of the away goals rule as they surrendered the 2-1 advantage they held from the first leg in Nairobi, an email from FKF vice-president, Sammy Sholei landed in the inbox.
“It is with so much disappointment that I’m forced to call for drastic change on the national team’s technical bench,” he begun in what sounded all too familiar.
However, the rest of his terse statement managed to nail the maladies affecting Stars, chief among them, lack of proper administration at FKF under Sam Nyamweya, a relic from the previous football management regime that is blamed for sending the game to the dogs at the turn of the century.
Elected as president/chairman in October last year on a reform platform, Nyamweya and his National Executive have gone on to preside over the last rites for Stars.
On top of crashing out of 2013 Afcon, hopes for 2014 World Cup hang on a thread after mustering only a single point from two qualifiers against Malawi and Namibia.
“Honesty is lacking in the federation, people operate unprofessionally, there is no respect, greed is the order of the day, politics within the federation is a culture, there are still groupings in the federation where people elected from one camp do not want to see others,” Sholei, a former international continues.
According to him, NEC members hang around FKF headquarters waiting for allowances to be doled out, committees formed to run the game are non functional, corruption is rife in addition to bootlickers getting crucial roles in the set-up at the expense of professionalism.
“It is a wake up call that the chairman should wake up, let us get to work, be honest. We have done more of nothing, no youth football structures plans in place, no basic training for grassroots coaches, no long term plans and none of the committees is active due to non sponsorship even after money for the year was sent by Fifa,” the vice-chairman charged.
However, that will not go far enough, it’s time for Nyamweya to fire someone, himself.