Football Football

Okumbi out as Belgian Put appointed Harambee Stars coach

Belgian Put has been appointed Harambee Stars Head Coach. Photo/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has appointed Belgian Paul Put as the Harambee Stars Head Coach replacing Stanley Okumbi.

Put was unveiled on Saturday during the FKF Annual General Meeting that is being held at in Mombasa County.

The 61-year-old has been handed a two-year contract in what will be his third national team duty after Gambia, Jordan and Burkina Faso who he steered to the 2017 African Cup of Nations finals.

Put’s first assignment will be on December 3 in the upcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup where Harambee Stars will face the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda in the opener.

He has been in charge of Algerian giants USM Alger but has now left the North African nation for Kenya national team job.

Put’s biggest achievement in the continent was leading Burkina Faso to the 2013 African Nations Cup final where they lost to Nigeria.

However, Put was at one point banned in Belgium for allegedly being involved match-fixing. The same match-fixing allegations cost his job in Jordan.

FKF has been under pressure to replace Okumbi after the former Mathare United coach failed to fit in the big shoes of the national team since he was handed the role in 2015 after the Nick Mwendwa regime took office.

Okumbi was last in charge of the national team on October 8 when Harambee Stars were stunned 2-1 by lowly ranked Thailand in the international friendly to condemn the former Mathare United head coach to his third loss over the last four matches.

They lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone in the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier, drew 1-1 with Mozambique in a friendly, then lost to Iraq 1-0 in international friendly.