Football Kenya Federation president, Nick Mwendwa, is to blame fully for Harambee Stars loss to Algeria on Sunday 23rd June. Kenya went down 2-0 to The Dessert Foxes in a shambolic first half, but showed an improved account of themselves in the second half.
Clearly, most Harambee Stars players seemed not only star-struck in the first half but also lost at that stage, ideally it appeared extremely big for them.
Kenyans love blame games, and thus have directed all the blame to the Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne as well as his charges.
Against Algeria Migne blamed the below par first half performance on lack of experience, on a squad that he selected, saying that the level of play against Algeria was too high for Kenya.
However, in as much as it was an all new experience for the players, there was at least a chance to have played the opponents, Algeria, in a friendly but that did not materialize, thanks to Mwendwa.
A year ago, when Paul Put was in charge of Harambee Stars, he received a friendly request by the Algeria’s federation vice president to play the team in Algeria but Mwendwa shot it down, saying that the team was too strong for Kenya, not knowing that Stars would be drawn against the Dessert Foxes in AFCON one year later.
Playing the North African side prior would have proved worthwhile as the team would come into the AFCON encounter knowing first hand what to expect.
“I was requested to have Kenya play in Algeria by the President of USM Algier, who is also the vice president of the country’s federation. He told me he could invite us to play Algeria and they would pay everything for all 32 people. I sent him mail suggesting 44 people, and he agreed everything and signed, then I gave the proposal to FKF President (Mwendwa) but he was afraid that they would be too strong for us, saying we look for other opponents.” Put was quoted by a famous media house in the country.
The Belgian parted ways with FKF, barely four months after signing a contract to take over Harambee Stars. He had previously coached Gambia and Burkina Faso national teams, steering Burkina Faso to runners-up in the 2013 AFCON. Currently, he is in charge of Guinea national team.