Flip-flopping Okumbi demoted to junior team


Harambee Stars first coach, Stanley Okumbi, pictured in training on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Safaricom Stadium ...
Harambee Stars first coach, Stanley Okumbi, pictured in training on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani. The team left for Guinea Bissau on Monday, March 21, 2016. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

In Summary

  • Stanley Okumbi, the man who sank Harambee Stars to an-all-time low has been demoted, taking a new post as head coach of Kenya under-20 team from the national side.
  • Prior to the demolition that FKF preferred to lace with a sweetened term "deployed", Okumbi served as the interim coach of Harambee Stars in the wake of the huff resignation of Paul Putt, who, ironically, had succeeded him at the troubled Stars dug-out.

Stanley Okumbi, the man who sank Harambee Stars to an -all-time low has been demoted, taking a new post as head coach of Kenya under-20 team from the national side.

Prior to the demolition that FKF preferred to lace with a sweetened term “deployed”, Okumbi served as the interim coach of Harambee Stars in the wake of the huff resignation of Paul Putt, who, ironically, had succeeded him at the troubled Stars dug-out.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Football Kenya Federation Communication Director Barry Otieno said Okumbi was not demoted but just “redeployed to his original position”.

“Okumbi was an interim coach, and never the head coach so when Paul Putt left, he came in as a stand-in- coach and had to go with the team for the two assignments because they had already been planned when the Belgian was here,”Otieno explained.

Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi gives instructions to his captain Victor Wanyama during evening training session at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on November 9, 2016. Stars are preparing for International friendly match against Mozambique on November 12, 2016. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

The changes come just a day after the Stars embarrassingly lost to the Central Republic of Africa 3-2 in an international friendly match in Marrakech, Morocco having previously drawn 2-2 against Comoros in another friendly match at the same venue.

“In May we will unveil our new coach, and the coach will have a technical bench that Okumbi will not be part of, but will handle over teams within the national team,” added Otieno.

The former Mathare United coach was appointed Stars coach in February 2016, days after the FKF president Nick Mwendwa took leadership of the federation.

The tactician started on a high with wins at home and away over former CHAN champions Democratic Republic Congo. However, he failed to lead the Stars to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon, having lost at home and away to Guinea Bissau.

He was in charge of the Stars when they lost to Sierra Leone 2-1 in the opening match of the 2019 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers and two further losses to Iraq and Thailand in friendlies.

Okumbi will now take over from John Kamau who was handling the under- 20 side. FKF is expected to name a new coach on  May 1 with the new coach’s first assignment being to lead the team to victory in the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana in September.

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Story By John Kyanda
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