Yet again Kenya was ignominiously eliminated from the Africa nations cup at the first hurdle. This time it was Togo who beat Kenya on away goals rule. And once again the daggers are out. Most people including FKF officials are pointing an accusing finger at coach Francis Kimanzi.
Kimanzi himself was ready his excuses which he unleashed onto the media as soon as he landed at Jomo Kenyatta airport. Among the excuses was his assertion that Kenya does not do well because the fans are not supportive enough and thus Kenya has no home ground advantage. FKF were not in a listening mood. They sidelined Kimanzi and are now in the process of searching for a new coach.
Since Kenya qualified for the 2004 Africa nations cup, there have been coaching eleven changes: Twahir Muhiddin (2004–05), Mohammed Kheri (2005), Bernard Lama (2006), Tom Olaba (2006), Mulee again (2007–08), Francis Kimanzi (2008–09),Antoine Hey (2009) Muhiddin once more (2009–10), Mulee for a third time (2010), Zedekiah Otieno (2010–11) and Kimanzi (2011–). Eleven coaching changes in 8 years is incredible by any standards. A new coach will soon be appointed, making it 12 coaching changes in 8 years.
But do not hold your breath hoping that a new coach will bring happy tidings to Harambee stars. Expect more of the same. Kenya is lagging far behind other countries because the notion of youth development is completely foreign. Whereas many African countries have well equipped, well staffed youth development centers all over the country, no such programs exist in Kenya. Neither the clubs nor the federation have seen it fit to start such programs.
Egregiously, FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya has gone even further by extinguishing the Sakata ball tournament. While this tournament did not enhance youth development per se, it was a useful tournament for keeping youngstars playing the game and giving larger clubs an opportunity to scout young players early. Young players whom they can then mould into better players.
Until Kenya starts to take youth development seriously, you can count on more poor performances. Indeed the 2012 edition of Harambee stars is perhaps the poorest Kenya has ever fielded. This writer cannot remember the last time there was such a dearth of quality players available. Yet things might only get worse. Changing coach after coach wil not help. In fact it causes instability.