In Summary
  • National team’s tactician has faced stern criticism from local football enthusiasts and pundits alike in recent times.
  • FKF’s chief sponsor argues that national team needs different strategy to make good strides in global game.

SportPesa chief executive officer Ronald Karauri has added his voice to the growing chorus of dissenting views against the technical acumen of current Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi.

Karauri, whose company is Football Kenya Federation’s main sponsorship partner, admits that he has his doubts with regard to Okumbi’s capabilities as national team coach before quickly offering that he remains guided by the federation’s decision.

“I’ll be honest and say that I have my doubts. I am not a football expert, but if we are talking about appearing at the World Cup in 2022, there are things we need to do,” he said with a light chuckle.

“I love Okumbi. But after we lost to Sierra Leone I remember called the FKF leaders and said look, we need to change something here."

“Our next match is a very difficult one, against Ghana. As a layman, I have my reservations about the technical bench. Obviously Nick (Mwendwa) and his colleagues know more football than me, so I will continue to support them in whichever decision they make. But that is just my personal view,” he said.

Okumbi has faced stern criticism from local football enthusiasts and pundits in recent times, and the reprisal reached climax last weekend when the national team lost 2-1 to Iraq and then 1-0 to lowly Thailand in away friendly matches.

This brought to four the number of winless matches presided over by Okumbi so far, after their 2-1 defeat to Sierra Leone in their opening match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier as well as a 1-1 draw against Mozambique in another friendly match.

Courtesy of these results, Kenya’s standing in the World Fifa Rankings is set for a nose dive ahead of next year’s clash against Ghana in the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.

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