Okumbi blames fatigue for Malawi stalemate


Harambee Stars coach Starnley Okumbi reacts against Malawi during their International Friendly match at Kenyatta ...
Harambee Stars coach Starnley Okumbi reacts against Malawi during their International Friendly match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on April 18, 2017. The match ended 0-0. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com

The Kenya national team First Coach Stanley Okumbi blamed fatigue as the Harambee Stars were held to a barren draw by Malawi during Tuesday’s friendly.

Okumbi noted some of his players had come straight of Kenyan Premier League ties with their respective clubs which curtailed their match fitness.

The Stars, nonetheless, extended their remarkable unbeaten run to a 11 matches as their revival under Okumbi continued.

“It was tough for the players because they had not trained together before the game  because some KPL matches were being played a day before the game, like Mathare United  against Posta Rangers so the players were somehow tired,” Okumbi told Citizen Digital.

The former Kariobangi tactician urged Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenya Premier League to coordinate when drawing up fixtures in order to avoid clashing games.

To preserve their players, domestic giants Gor Mahia FC withdrew their players from participating in the friendly tie against the Flames.

“KPL and the federation should come together and show support because some of the league fixtures should have been rescheduled for the players to get time to prepare and play for the national team,” Okumbi decried.

His counterpart, Malawi Head Coach Ronny Van Geneugden said he was comfortable with the draw adding he is only in the process of building a new team.

“We faced a tough team with a different style of play and this result has given us a motivation to face Madagascar in our journey to play CHAN next year,” he said post-match.

The Stars will face Sierra Leone June 9 in another Chan friendly match.

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