Social media ‘roasts’ Okumbi, Mwendwa after Stars fall
Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa and national team first coach, Stanley Okumbi, came under intense criticism on social media with many fans blaming the duo for Kenya’s 1-0 loss away at Guinea Bissau as #HarambeeStars trended overnight.
Okumbi’s squad selection has been called into question after he handed second division Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Patillah Omotto a starting berth and brought on teammate, striker Ovela Ochieng when Stars were chasing an equaliser with 76 minutes gone.
Disappointed Stars fans vented their agony on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms with many complaining the Sharks duo were too inexperienced to deserve a national team call-up branding the team ‘Harambee Sharks’ and ‘Kariobangi Stars’ .
Kenya’s defense was caught napping in the 19th minute as Guinea Bissau’s Sanchez ghosted behind Musa Mohammed to head in a powerful header past goalkeeper Arnold Origi for the winner.
After the match, Mwendwa, an ICT specialist by trade, took to Twitter in an attempt to quell the growing anger for the defeat.
“There is and will be alot of talk. We have good youngsters and we will make them stronger. We cannot shy away from these situations.
“At no time did I promise we shall win alot in these first years. We shall build from ground up and that I said will take more time !
“The challenge is national. Copa is back, sakata will be back and more to create more new players for these assignments,” the FKF boss who is heavily associated with the Sharks despite relinquishing the chairmanship after his election wrote on the micro blogging site.
That kickstarted the venom against him and Okumbi that lasted throughout the night and Thursday morning ahead of the team’s return for their second leg match against Guinea Bissau in Nairobi on Sunday as #HarambeeStars trended.
“It is now emerging that #HarambeeStars Coach Stanley Okumbi obtained his passport just weeks ago. Brother had never left Kenya. Exposure!” Citizen Digital blogger, Tom Bwana wrote.
“Let’s just stick to sportpesa, corruption and tribalism; there we are indomitable!! Football is clearly not our forte.. #HarambeeStars,” football fan Kerubo Momanyi chided.
“Mediocrity,corruption n cronyism #Nyamweya left and nyamweyaism continues at its worst #HarambeeStars,” beaten FKF presidential candidate, Gor Semelang’o fired.
“I said @Nickmwenda represented nyamweyaism,some doubted,it is still mediocrity,corruption&cronism.same hire of jet&joyriders #HarambeeStars,” he added.
“Far too many #HarambeeStars coaches on these streets. Same Kenyans/ sports journos who went gaga over FKF boss, his team & coach. Euphoria,” renowned writer, Clay Muganda held.
“Headless chicken, casual, pedestrian mostly and ultimately deserving of that loss. #ChoicesHaveConsequences #HarambeeStars,” TV journalist, Watson Karuma added.
“It’s easier to build a multi billion Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa toMalaba than for #HarambeeStars to rise up to national expectation,” his TV colleague, Saddique Shaban quipped.
“Seems my Kenyan friends aren’t very happy with #harambeestars,” top athletics agent, Michel Boeting wrote.
“Kariobangi Sharksnization of #HarambeeStars saw coach Okumbi fielding a player who hasn’t played competitive football since October,” radio presenter and musician, Joseph Ogidi, aka Gidi Gidi offered.
New FKF CEO, Richard Muthomi faced a barrage of tweets when he attempted to defend the selection of the Sharks duo.
“Disappointment about the performance today is healthy. I will take that over indifference any day. Thanks and goodnight,” he posted when the heat turned up on his time line.
On Facebook, thousands of posts and comments slamming the performance spilled into Thursday morning.
“Nick Mwendwa, when you say that at no point did you promise us victories. Are you talking in your capacity as part of the technical bench or as the head FKF?
“With my small mind, I believe harambee stars should be an independent entity void of interference. Your statement confrims that you partially work as a technical bench personnel. All we need from you are results off pitch mambo ya Harambee wachia TB we leta structures kuongea mingi haisaidii (leave matters of Stars to the technical bench).
“Your statement confirms your choice for Okumbi, a person you can manipulate at will,” Ochieng Otieno posted on FaceBook.
“So Much, So many times it happens that any Team that wins the Kenya Football elections, would always want to impress, which is normal and expected of them, the excitements though unexpectedly lies around the National Team, where rewarding appointments to friends, which backfires therefore mounting back pressure to the newly elected office therefore creating so much confusion, defence, which kills the confidence of the office bearers and stakeholders like it maybe happening right now,” former FKF vice-president, Sammy Ty Sholei wrote in another post.
“Some people are yelling on top of their voices that we never win our away matches so we should go easy on yesterday’s results,So my question to them is this – are we supposed to accept mediocrity because “we don’t always win away matches”?That was not even a friendly match that we can shove the away,” a disappointed Gor Evans lamented.
Others though came to the defence of Mwendwa, the besieged coach and his proposed development agenda.
“The only way we can be told to give this guy time is when we begin to see him working on structures that will uplift the standards of Soccer in this Country.Excellent parformans that we expect of the National team is not an instant Coffee process we have been there before we have done that and we have failled Miserably.Mwendwa need to give Structures the first priority.Giving Harambe Stars the first priority amounts to doing things the Nyamweya way and expecting different results,” Duncan Ndar posted.
“The President needs a breather from the Social Media platforms, doing ten tweets in under five minutes to justify Ambare’s dismal performance in G. B is defeatist,” Dan Opata added in support.
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