Firat's diagnosis of Kenyan football malady

FOOTBALL Firat's diagnosis of Kenyan football malady

Kiplagat Sang • 09:15 - 20.03.2023

The tactician asked hard-hitting questions, especially about the standards of infrastructure.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has pinpointed factors that have affected the country’s chances of competing at the highest level, especially in the World Cup.

While demanding logical answers from Kenyans, the Turkish tactician named the lack of proper infrastructure as one of the factors that have affected the national team negatively.

"The reality starts from basic things like infrastructure," the coach told the press.

"How can it be that I, as a foreigner, haven't seen my team play outside Nairobi? How many times have Harambee Stars played in other counties apart from Nairobi?

"How can we understand our problems if we don't check some things out?

"We need to come to a realization that we are far from reality, very far from it,

"Forget about Europe, we are not even close to their standards. Let us come back and ask ourselves which stadiums can currently host a proper competitive football game. All we talk about is winning and results.

Firat also asked more hard-hitting questions and sought to find out why the country has not performed well at the continental level.

He looked back at the number of times Harambee Stars have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations and failed to progress from the preliminary level.

"Two African Cup of Nations appearances in thirty-one years without making it out of the group stages," he added.

"Honestly, I  don't understand. If this is our past, then why is everyone talking about World Cups or Afcons?

"Kindly help me answer this question. I am asking all of you. Kindly give me one logical explanation of why you think we are better than other countries. Please tell me I am here.

"Please, I am not joking. I am not just saying this for the sake of it; I want us to look at reality.

"We are talking about the national team here. It took the intervention of the Sports Ministry for us to train. I am not making excuses, but tell me why no one is talking about reality."

Firat will lead Harambee Stars in a friendly match against Iran on March 28.

He has already named the provisional squad that will take on the Middle East nation during the international beak.

While the squad has seasonal names like Michael Olunga, James Mwangi, and Hassan Beja are the others who have been summoned given their performances in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League.