Harambee Stars coach Firat leaves for Turkey

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat reacts during their last CAF World Cup qualifier group stage fixture against Rwanda at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on November 15, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat on Tuesday left the country for Turkey as speculations continue to arise surrounding his job, which will expire on Friday.

This comes even after expressing interest that he would want to extend his stay with the national team.

According to Football Kenya Federation Communication Director Pharis Kumaru, Firat left early in the morning and will be following closely on the decision of the federation.

On Monday, Firat said he sees a future with the national team, adding that he would love to see through the project of rebuilding the team.

He was impressed with Stars’ performance in their last three matches of the World Cup qualifiers and admitted he would like to continue with the job.

“Anyone who has eyes can see that this team has a bright future. These boys are young; between 20 to 22 years and they will play for the next 10 years. We should focus on building for the future,” said Firat.

“It has been an amazing journey for me in Kenya football. Remember I said that if I don’t see any future, then there is no need of staying. But these boys have shown the potential and that is all a coach can ask for and therefore I am interested on staying.”

He noted that if his contract is extended, he will prioritize injecting new blood in the national team.

The FKF Caretaker Committee is expected to decide on his fate with national team before the end of the week.

The Turkish tactician was appointed to guide the national team on a short-term basis replacing Jacob “Ghost” Mulee and the deal is set to expire on Friday.

Firat has guided Kenya in four matches, losing twice, drawing once, and winning once.

His last assignment on Monday saw Kenya defeat Rwanda 2-1 at Nyayo Stadium in what was Group E’s last World Cup qualifier match.

Stars captain Michael Olunga and Sweden-based midfielder Richard Odada were on target for Kenya in the victory.

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