Kenya: New Harambee Stars Coach Offered Two-Month Contract

19 September 2021

Turkish tactician Engin Firat was on Sunday afternoon unveiled as Harambee Stars' new coach on a two months contract at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) top brass led by President Nick Mwendwa said the former Moldova national head coach will take charge of Kenya's 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Mali on October 6 and October 12 and then in November against Uganda and Rwanda.

Mwendwa said during his two months tenure, the coach's sole target will be to ensure Harambee Stars finishes top of Group E and get to the next round of World Cup qualifiers.

Mwendwa said that if he fulfills the task is when they will engage him either on a longer contract so that he can continue rebuilding the team or formally part ways with him.

"Firat is a top qualified coach and has vast experience in football. He was the coach of the Moldovan national team where he played against big teams like Italy and France," said Mwendwa.

"He can look at the task and be prepared to take us forward. He will have an engagement for two months in Mali in October and November then we will discuss how to continue depending on the outcome," added Mwendwa.

The FKF supremo said it was not easy to get a coach of Firat's caliber given his experience in playing against big teams in Europe and exuded his confidence that the coach will take Kenya to Qatar in June next year.

Firat said Kenya is a football loving country and promised to deliver during the two months stint. He defended his record with Moldova where he never won any match in 11 games he oversaw.

Losing nine times and drawing twice with Moldova, Firat said the record shouldn't be used to judge him as he played against strong teams like Italy and France. He gave an example of a match he played against Italy where he claimed he lost 2-1 because the referee killed the game.

"I'm very much excited to be here and very ready for the challenge ahead. Moldova was not a football country as Kenya and with this agreement I'm optimistic I will deliver," he said.

Apart from Moldova, the 51 year old coach also managed Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt between 2000-2002 and Fenerbahce of Turkey where he was assistant coach between 2002-2003.

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