FORMER Football Kenya Federation (FKF) vice-chairman Titus Kasuve has put blame squarely on Kenya Premier League (KPL) clubs following Harambee Stars' recent poor show in international assignments. Kasuve faulted KPL management and club's lack of seriousness as reason behind Stars' dismal performance in both the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers. "Harambee Stars are a big let down and unless KPL clubs get serious we shall continue to get disappointed. We need proper coaches for these clubs if we are to compete effectively at international level as this will trickle down to the national team," said Kasuve.
He asked Kenyans to stop castigating tactician Francis Kimanzi for the poor results, saying performance of local clubs on continental scene was a real testimony of what should be expected. He singled out league champions Tusker and Gor Mahia's early exit from the Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively as a clear indicator that the country's game "is far from scaling the football heights." "Where are our clubs in continental football? Both Tusker and Gor Mahia could not go beyond the first round. Look at Sudan. They still have two teams on the continental scene and this explains why their national team is performing wonders. We must own up and stop overrating our league. We are putting much energy on the league but not concentrating on the technical aspects of developing players," he added.
A section of Kenyans have called for a total overhaul of Harambee Stars after they exited the Nations Cup qualifiers on an away goal rule to Togo in Lome last Sunday. Kasuve said for clubs to operate, KPL should give them more money to help reduce their expenses. He also said that KPL should leave the appointments of match referees, approval of rules and regulations and licensing of coaches to the federation so "as to help bring parity." "Unless we shut out KPL, we are doomed. I don't hate them (KPL) because they have done a good job. They must let go and allow professionalism to be instilled into the management of the sport. We have pampered the league for six years and we should now let it walk on its own within regulations set up by FKF."