Engin Firat: Harambee Stars coach’s cries over salary delays finally heard

Engin Firat: Harambee Stars coach’s cries over salary delays finally heard

Joel Omotto 19:15 - 29.03.2024

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat’s previous complaints over delayed payment of his salary seem to have been resolved.

Harambee Stars’ recent string of positive results could also be down to a highly-motivated coach Engin Firat.

Firat made headlines last September when he claimed he had not been paid for nearly eight months but still opted to continue with his work, raising questions on who was responsible for his salary.

It later emerged that it was the responsibility of the Sports Ministry and now, the Turkish tactician is believed to have been paid all his outstanding dues, heading into a critical time for the national team.

Firat is on a three-year contract worth Ksh1.5 million a month and Pulse Sports understands the Ministry of Sports is keen on having him focused on the national team so that the salary issue does not become an excuse in case results are not positive.

The Harambee Stars coach is delivering at least from his last three matches, which he has won all, being the first time the country recorded three straight victories, since December 2019 when they beat Tanzania (1-0), Sudan (2-1) and Zanzibar (1-0) in the CECAFA Senior Challenger Cup.

Kenya beat Malawi 4-0 before coming from behind to silence Zimbabwe 3-1 to claim the Four Nations trophy, the results coming after a 5-0 thrashing of Seychelles in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers last November.

Firat will, however, be under the microscope in June when Kenya host both Burundi and recently crowned African champions Ivory Coast in the World Cup qualifiers.

Kenya have three points in Group F from one win and a loss while the Ivorians lead with the maximum six points from two matches, same as Gabon, who beat Kenya on matchday one before overcoming the Gambia.

Like Kenya, Burundi also have three points, while the Gambian and Seychelles are pointless, setting up epic battles in June given only the top team will seal a direct ticket to the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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