Kimanzi pleads innocence, says absence from touchline will inspire Stars


Kimanzi pleads innocence, says absence from touchline will inspire Stars
Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi instructs his charges against Togo during their Total Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers 2021 first leg match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on November 18, 2019. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Citizen Digital

In Summary

  • Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi has said he is not aware why he has been banned for two matches, in the ongoing Cecafa Senior Challenge in Kampala, Uganda.
  • The competition organisers on Sunday evening moved to hand Kimanzi the touchline ban, saying he incited his players to protest their match against Tanzania, which however was played despite a 10-minutes delay with Kenya winning 1-0.
   Jacob Icia in Kampala

Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi has said he is not aware why he has been banned for two matches, in the ongoing Cecafa Senior Challenge in Kampala, Uganda.

The competition organisers on Sunday evening moved to hand Kimanzi the touchline ban, saying he incited his players to protest their match against Tanzania, which however was played despite a 10-minutes delay with Kenya winning 1-0.

But according to Kimanzi, the accusation levelled against him is ‘funny’ as he does not deal with players at the level of purported issues.

“I’ve also read it in from some section of media, because I haven’t received any letter and I don’t know what I’ve done to be suspended…may be to win?” He continued: There is a team manager, I’m on the technical part, I did what I’m supposed to do that is warming up the team and manage a game that I managed and won,” Kimanzi said, laughing off the decision.

Asked if he felt unfairly treated, Kimanzi opted to keep off the matter saying he couldn’t dwell on matter that he didn’t understand.

“When you haven’t gotten any explanation and you are not called to explain anything on your side, it is not easy to defend yourself. I’m defending myself for what? I need to know what I have done before I start defending myself,” insisted the experienced tactician.

He is however confident his absence will not deter his charges from stopping Sudan, adding he will respect the “rumour he has heard” to keep off the field.

“I have a very experienced technical bench that is supporting me, there is nothing that will change in my absence, maybe  the face of Kimanzi, the game will be played, the boys will have fun and I’m sure we will win it,” a confident Kimanzi declared.

Citizen Digital understands the problem arose from three Tanzanian players who had no passports which is a mandatory requirement.

Assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno will thus take charge, as Stars seek their second win on Tuesday afternoon against Sudan, which would guarantee them a place in the last four from Group B. Zico will also be on the touchline in the Saturday’s last pool match pitting Kenya and Zanzibar.

Kimanzi’s only opportunity to lead Stars in the 2019 Senior Challenge edition will only be possible if Kenya qualifies to the semi finals, to mean the two-game suspension would be over.

Meanwhile, the Kenya U-17 girls football team on Monday clobbered hapless Djibouti 13-0 in their opener of the CECAFA junior championship in Jinja, Uganda.

The two tournaments are running concurrently in Uganda, which also hosted the Women Senior CECAFA cup this year, Kenya deservedly winning without losing or conceding a goal.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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