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FKF Premier League: Sammy Okoth resigns as Vihiga United coach ahead of league restart

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | May 16th 2021
Sammy Okoth (right) is unveiled as the new Vihiga United coach by club President Indimuli Kahi in 2019. [Eric Lungai, The Standard]

Sammy Okoth resigned on Saturday as the head coach for Vihiga United Football Club.

Speaking to The Standard Sports, Okoth confirmed he requested the club management to let him go voluntarily in the wake of financial crisis currently crippling the club.

The tactician said he could not continue leading players who have not been paid for the past eight months.

“My players have only been training for the past two days after previously refusing to train due to salary arrears. Everyone in the team is complaining whilst the management expects positive results. This cannot be achieved if players are not happy,” said Okoth.

The former Zoo Kericho coach revealed that he is also owed up to eight months in salary arrears and therefore had to seek other alternatives to be able to pay his bills and take care of his family.

“When we earned promotion to the FKF Premier League, we expected things to be better after playing in the Super League without payments. However, things are worse and that’s why I have to leave,” he said.

Coach Vihiga United FC Sammy Okoth during FKF PL match against Gor Mahia FC at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday, Jan 23, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Vihiga United chairman Indimuli Kahi confirmed to the Standard that indeed Okoth requested to step aside for some time to take care of his family.

 “It is true we are having financial crisis at the club and we owe our players and coach Okoth over seven months' salary arrears.”

“We have not yet received any money from our sponsors the county government of Vihiga and until we do so we will have to survive,” said the chairman.

Indimuli revealed that the county had given the team Sh7million at the start of the season but the money was not enough after paying off their debts accrued during the National Super League last season, paying players and covering expenses during the earlier stages of the 2021 season.

Vihiga United chairman Indimuli Kahi confirmed to The Standard that indeed Okoth requested to step aside. [Boniface Okendo, The Standard]

Indimuli however said they have not parted ways and Okoth will be welcomed back with open arms in future.

In the meantime, Indimuli said they have appointed Mike Mururi as their new head coach.

Mururi returns after previously steering the club in 2019.

Vihiga United are currently 15 in the standings with 11 points same as Western Stima, five points above the relegation zone.

Vihiga will play Mathare United on Sunday.

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