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Angry Adel denies hawking players

AMROUCHE-LAGOSNAIROBI, Kenya, August 31- Harambee Stars head coach, Adel Amrouche, has vigorously denied allegations he is hawking the country’s local based players to overseas clubs for profit.

Speaking at a media briefing, the visibly annoyed Belgian tactician said he was using his expansive international coaching links to link Kenyan players to foreign clubs to improve their careers just as he did in his four-year tenure in Burundi.

“I don’t talk about transfers. I put them in direct contact with clubs, I don’t take consultancy with players and I help my players to grow. I’m angry when reports asked whether Adel is an agent or coach. People called me from Europe.”

The Belgian national was instrumental in facilitating the move that is yet to materialise for local league leaders, Gor Mahia forward Raphael Mungai Kiongera to German club Borussia Monchengladbach.

“I work here for Kenya. If the national team is good, it’s good for everybody. If we go to Africa Nations Cup, Kenya goes to African Cup. Sometimes we have these problems and when a player comes and ask me whether he should play for a team, I tell them no, I come from far and I cannot be involved in (local) tribes,” he said.

Recently, Amrouche linked domestic top flight titleholders Tusker FC defender, David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng with a switch to Saudi Arabia professional league outfit Al Taawoun where he has already made an appearance according to reports.

Kiongera and Ochieng were named in his provisional squad to face Namibia in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier scheduled for Sept. 8 although the latter is still listed as a Tusker player in the squad sheet signed by the coach.

“Don’t bring me problems with people. I have only my team and I saw ‘Cheche’ leave since I cannot support them living this (poor) life and when he comes, ask him. I’m happy when they come back, they can buy houses for their families.”

“God gave me this chance to help and I put 23 players out in Burundi and when I do it for one player here, some journalists ask me whether I got something. For this, I’m angry since I’m here for good intention and I love this country and with time, you know why,” he added.

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Amrouche expressed he was saddened by reports that some former players were living in abject poverty and part of his duties was to engage his contacts to better the lives of those who can make it in clubs overseas.

“I don’t want to see Kiongera or Cheche selling things in the market in future. I’m proud of what I did in Burundi and if this will make me be called an agent, then call me that. I will not be here forever and when I go, I want to leave a structure here where Kenyan players can move to develop their careers,” the Belgian said.

Amrouche noted that the country’s low FIFA ranking was not a cause of concern but shifting more players abroad would help the nation improve.

“When (Victor) Wanyama plays for Southampton in England, it makes interest in Kenyan players’abroad increase. We need more than this since we do not have enough money to put all programmes and structures we need to improve,” he stressed.

Wanyama, who moved from Scottish champions Celtic FC to English Premiership side Southampton for a record 12 million pounds last month, is expected to captain Stars against Namibia if he honours his call-up.

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