Kimanzi’s last laugh

Published on 03/02/2009

By Gilbert Wandera

Football Kenya meet on Saturday to deliberate on the fate of former national team Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi.

Mohammed Hatimy, Football Kenya Limited (FKL) chairman, said yesterday they are considering the views of the Government to reinstate Kimanzi, sacked on January 18 just after Stars returned from Uganda where they finished second in the regional Cecafa tournament.

The company meets this weekend during which the matter will be deliberated and a decision made.

Kimanzi was fired two weeks ago for alleged indiscipline after he refused to assemble the team to play Egypt in a friendly build-up in Cairo.

The decision did not, however, go down well with a cross-section of fans, players and the Government.

Both the Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Sports Minister Hellen Sambili have called on FKL to reinstate Kimanzi, arguing that this was not the time to make changes in the team.

Kenyan top striker Dennis Oliech, who plays in France threatened not to avail himself for future selections should Kimanzi stay out.

FKL chairman Mohammed Hatimy said yesterday,” We have had the comments of the Prime Minister, the Minister and other Kenyans. We are meeting this weekend to deliberate on the same and the way forward,” he said in an interview.

Hatimy said the decision to sack Kimanzi is yet to be ratified by the National Executive Committee, which is the company’s highest decision making body.

“When the Emergency Committee met and took the decision, I was not in the country and now the NEC has to either ratify it or reject it,” he added.

Hatimy declined to speculate whether FKL will reinstate Kimanzi, insisting that such a decision cannot be made by one person.

Asked about the fate of Bobby Ogolla, Hatimy said: “He was just brought in as a stand in coach for the friendly against Egypt.”

Ogolla yesterday said he will not accept to work under similar circumstances when he was forced to send in a make-shift team to Cairo.

The former international said he was still waiting for FKL to inform him on whether he would continue.

“They are yet to talk to me. I am waiting, but I will not call them. They know where to find me if they need me,” he said at Jamhuri High School after training with Premier League side Sofapaka where he is an assistant coach.

He added: “I will not accept to be called in one week before the World Cup qualifier match against Tunisia. Training should have started immediately after the Cairo friendly.”

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