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Harambee Stars to have new coach by March

Immediate former Harambee Stars head coach Paul Put consults with Stanley Okumbi during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup final at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos in December 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19- Football Kenya Federation says a new Harambee Stars head coach will be in charge by March 23, before the team travels to Morocco for a FIFA friendly match against Comoros.

Belgian Paul Put resigned from his role on Monday afternoon citing personal reasons and FKF Secretary General Robert Muthomi has told Capital Sport that the process to find his successor has already began in earnest.

“We will have a new man in charge very soon. Stanley (Okumbi) will only be holding on interim basis but by the time we play Comoros, we should have a new head coach,” Muthomi said.

Put threw in the towel at the helm of the Harambee Stars barely three months after taking over the challenge in what FKF said were personal reasons. Muthomi has denied claims that the federation failed to fulfil the tactician’s wish of having his own men in the technical bench.

“That is absolutely not true. We had a meeting with the coach where he presented his wishes and we had absolutely no problem with that. We had presented the budget to the government and they were reviewing it. Also, the amount wasn’t so big that we couldn’t handle so that is no reason,”

“He had his own personal issues which was already known to a few members of the federation and he decided to leave,” Muthomi further states.

Harambee Stars head coach Paul Put presents a signed jersey to Deputy President William Ruto during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Capital Sports understands that Put had wanted to add in five new backroom staff members, ranging from an assistant coach to a Strength and Conditioning specialist, a masseuse and physiotherapist.

Though Muthomi declined to disclose the financial implication of this addition, sources intimate that it might have been in the region of Sh3mn monthly.

“Contrary to popular belief out there, Put never wanted Stanley out. He just wanted these new people to come and the rest of our local personnel to learn from them,” Muthomi adds.

Put’s two-year contract was anchored on aiding Harambee Stars qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and the tactician was confident Kenya would make it to the showpiece despite starting off with a 2-1 loss away to Sierra Leone.

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The resignation now swings the players and federation in limbo but the latter say they will soldier on to see the country qualify.

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