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‘FKF has made major football strides despite Stars setback, says coach Muhidin’

By , People Daily Digital
Monday, October 25th, 2021 20:37 | 2 mins read
Coach Twahhir Muhiddin conducting a coaching course in Mombasa last week. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

Veteran coach Twahir Muhiddin has broken his silence on the failure of the national men’s team, Harambee Stars, to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, saying that the current office bearers must not be judged by the team’s results, but by the “massive gains” the sport has achieved since 2016.

Muhiddin’s comments come on the backdrop of scathing attacks directed at football administrators after Kenya were eliminated from the World Cup campaign following two back-to-back losses to Mali.

“Football is not just about Harambee Stars. To be honest we have had serious gains in Kenyan football since 2016 when Nick Mwendwa and his team took over. The initiative taken by FKF on strengthening the structures is great. 

For instance in coaching, we have gone to train coaches at places like Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Garissa and as we speak I’m currently conducting a coaching clinic deep in Kilifi. 

“These are places that had been neglected for many years, no one even thought that football could be played in such areas,” Muhiddin told People Sport.

He added: “Having national teams in different age groups starting from under-15, under-17, under-20 and under-23 is historical in Kenya.

“We tried using the current structures that were introduced in 1978 by German coach Bernhard Zgol and players from his under-17 side, the likes of Austin Oduor, Abbas Magongo and George Fundi were the ones that helped us qualify for the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria, when Mohammed Kheri and myself were in charge of the national team, so there are no shortcuts.”

FKF Kiambu branch chairman John Kamau supported Muhiddin’s sentiments, saying the country has also made huge strides in women’s football, coaching and referees training.

“Currently we have free coaches and referee training. Referees’ promotions are also done purely on merit unlike before.

Referee David Waweru could not be promoted during the previous regime, but he has now grown tremendously and is now among the best in the continent,” Kamau said.

He added: “So far the federation has had two sets of Fifa referees coaching courses that trained 4,000 coaches in every county, while women’s football has two leagues that are run professionally. 

“This is the reason why Fifa has picked Kenya to be the epitome of Fifa women programmes.

National teams’ organisation is at a different level. There are no dissenting voices as well from any county countrywide in regards to mismanagement of the sport.”

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