Firat to remain as Stars’ coach
Turkish coach Engin Firat will continue as the Harambee Stars head coach after Kenya got a green-light to participate in international matches following the lifting of a suspension that lasted almost a year.
The disclosure was made yesterday by a senior Football Kenya Federation (FKF) official who sought anonymity, saying that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had decided to extend the tactician’s contract for continuity after he appeared to have instilled unique technical expertise to the side during his short spell with the team before the federation was disbanded.
“ Members of NEC have unanimously decided to retain the services of Firat when Harambee Stars resume its fixtures next year, but we also decided that in future, before a national team coach is appointed, he will have to be vetted by NEC,” the source told People Sport.
Firat who was appointed as the head coach in September last year, replacing Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, was tasked with the responsibility of leading Kenya to the third round of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification campaign.
However, that target was not achieved as Kenya finished third in Group E behind Mali and Uganda having accrued six points from six matches.
Meanwhile, the government of Kenya has set a target of seeing the national men’s football team Harambee Stars qualify to play in the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namambwa has said the state has embarked on various football development projects to ameliorate the local game, with the world cup participation ticket in sight.
“We have the vision 2030 that at the very minimum Harambee Stars must play at the World Cup 2030.If we can make it to the World Cup 2026 then that will be great but we are being realistic that with good investments, good planning, talent development and running our football in a manner that is transparent and accountable we can get Harambee Stars in the World Cup.
While I was in Doha last week to meet FIFA and CAF, I took time to watch a number of games and from what I saw on the pitch that is a stage I want to see our Kenya boys display their talents. It is sad that our best football export Michael Olunga is only going to the stadiums as a fan and not as a player”, he told People Daily Sports.
With one year FIFA suspension lifted, it is now time for work for both the government and football Kenya federation of course with multiple lessons learnt by both parties. There will be a need to work in unison to work on new or old projects to reach ambitions of national interests. The ministry of Sports will be launching a mega grassroot program in the coming days aimed at football talent scouting, taping and development in the country.
“I have also indicated to FIFA that the government of Kenya is extremely keen on certain substantive development. We are very keen to launch a program for talent spotting and development. So, you are going to see a lot of actions in terms of grassroots football. Also, a lot of work will be done around the Kenya Academy of Sports.
Today the Academy of sports is only an academy in name but it is not an academy that you can look at and be confident that it is a platform for developing talents. Very soon we are launching something mega where we will lay