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Sack him! Fans blast Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat after loss to Gabon

By Cecil Odongo November 17th, 2023 2 min read

Football fans in Kenya have hit out at the men’s national football team, commonly referred to as Harambee Stars, and its coach Engin Firat following the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Gabon in the opening match of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualification matches.

While calling for Firat, a Turkish national to be fired, the fans, who opined on social media, also went on an attacking spree on players, singling Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga whom they castigated for underperforming with the national team despite banging in the goals for Al Duhail in the Qatar Stars League.

“The faster we offload Firat the better if we are serious with the national team. We can just have a coach who is just good in pie chart presentation and poor in field tactics,” wrote Alex Ngare, a football fan, on Facebook.

This was in response to Firat’s actions in recent times when he appeared for press briefings armed with PowerPoint presentations, complete with drawing diagrams on the pattern of play of his team.

“The problem is not the players. Which big players does Gabon have? The problem is that we hired a coach with no winning track record,” wrote Kevin Lusi.

The fans also castigated Olunga who has scored seven goals with Al Duhail in the league this season but has appeared to struggle when he pulls on the national team jersey this season.

Olunga’s last scored for Kenya in the 2-1 loss to Iran in a friendly game in March 2023.

“Michael Olunga is overrated,” wrote Kevin Wuod Nyarjimo.

Other fans sought forgiveness from former Harambee Stars Victor Wanyama, fondly known as the Lion of Muthurwa, claiming the country has been under a spell of disappointing performances and results since he was unceremoniously dropped from the national team in 2021 by former coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee.

Wanyama’s position has since been taken by Richard Odada.

Kenya faces Seychelles in another Group ‘F’ match in this competition on November 19, 2023, at the Stade Félix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Cote d’Ivorie, Gambia, Burundi and Gabon are the other teams in Kenya’s pool.

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