Kimanzi sacked as Stars coach, Mulee tipped to take over


Kimanzi sacked as Stars coach, Mulee tipped to take over
Former 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

  • The federation wished them well, in their future endeavors, this even as the search for a replacement to take the national team forward begins in earnest."
  • It remains unclear what prompted the federation to make the sweeping changes.
  • Telling, the federation said it won't offer "further comment" until a new appointment is made, in the coming days.

Head coach Francis Kimanzi, assistant Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno and the entire backroom staff have left their roles at the national football team Harambee Stars on ‘mutual consent’.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the federation thanked the officials for their service.

“The Federation is immensely grateful to Coach Kimanzi and his departing members of staff that include Assistant Coach Zedekiah Otieno and Goalkeeper Trainer Lawrence Webo for their exemplary work, dedication and unrivalled professionalism, which has strengthened Kenya’s chances of qualifying for the AFCON 2022 final tournament.

The federation wished them well, in their future endeavors, this even as the search for a replacement to take the national team forward ”begins in earnest”.

It remains unclear what prompted the federation to make the sweeping changes.

Though the federation was careful to craft their statement to show that it was an” amicable parting of ways”, it’s clear the technical bench has been sacked, barely 15 days after leading the team to a 2-1 win over Zambia in a friendly match.

Kimanzi, speaking to Citizen Digital, two weeks ago, after that win, had a clear road-map envisioned for the upcoming matches, and there was no iota of resignation, or plans to leave the job, leading to one conclusion: he’s been kicked out of the job.

At the same time Citizen Digital has learnt that former Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee is set to take over, with the unveiling planned for tomorrow(Wednesday) in Nairobi.

Mulee last coached Kenya in 2010 and is one of the most experienced local coaches having led the team to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Tunisia.

Telling, the federation said it won’t offer “further comment” until a new appointment is made, in the coming days.

Kimanzi took charge in August last year following the exit of Frenchman Sebastien Migne whom he had deputised at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals in Egypt.

Remarkably, as late as two weeks ago, when he led the Stars to a controversial 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium, there was no telling he could exit from the stage.

His departure now closes yet another chapter in his on and off relationship with the national side  – this being the third time he’s handled the side even as focus shifts to potential new candidate – likely Jcob ‘Ghost’ Mulee.

The Stars are in Group G of the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, sitting second on the pool with 2 points from an equal number of matches while Comoros top  on 4 points. Egypt have 2 points too while Togo are rock bottom with a point.

The Victor Wanyama captained Stars are primed to face Comoros in their next assignment – a two leg faceoff- home and away- the first leg in Nairobi on November 9 and the return leg four days later.

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Story By Isaac Swila
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