FOOTBALL

Harambee Stars: Head coach Paul Put resigns

Newly appointed Harambee Stars coach Paul Put has resigned as the national football team coach.

With just three months into office, Put’s resignation was announced by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Monday afternoon.

The Federation statement read: “The tactician’s resignation, though down to personal reasons is a setback to the country’s ongoing 2019 AFCON qualifiers as he was an integral member of the Technical Bench. In light of the foregoing, FKF has already begun the process of finding a suitable replacement to fill Mr. Put’s position, with Stanley Okumbi taking charge of the national team in the interim period.”

Okumbi, who has been the assistant to Put now takes over in acting capacity away from his main role as a coach before Put put him aside.

Put who led Burkina Faso to their first ever African Cup of Nations final was announced as the new boss of the national team last November during the FKF Annual General meeting in Mombasa with high hopes that he was the one to lead Kenya back to the Cup of Nations.

And he showed exactly that when in his first attempt, barely a week after taking charge, led Harambee Stars to the CECAFA Senior Challenge title with a post-match penalties win over Zanzibar in Machakos.

However, he seemed to have riled the wrong forces less than two weeks ago when he insinuated that he wanted to have his own backroom stuff, saying it was a decision to bulk up the tactical and technical know-how ahead of the AFCON qualifiers.

Put and Okumbi were together last weekend during Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards’ continental matches in Machakos and Kakamega respectively and seemed in good accord.

The tactician had rolled out his plans for the new year before the crucial 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifier against Ghana in September, saying he wanted at least two matches in March and two more in May.

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