Kenya: Sacked Coach Defends his U-23 team

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The disbanded Kenyan U-23 Team

Sacked under 23 (U-23) National soccer coach Bob Oyugi has laughed off his dismissal terming it as unwarranted. He accused his employers-Football Kenya Limited (FKL), of being ignorant and dictatorial adding that they were playing hide and seek game and refusing to tell the truth.

“By sacking me,” he added, “they wanted to seek sympathy and show Kenyans they were not part of the losing team. They should address the real issues that surrounded the team prior to their departure to Eritrea.”

The team lost 4-1 to their Eritrean counterparts last weekend during the first leg of the All Africa games qualifier.

Oyugi accused FKL officials of delegating all their responsibilities to the team’s technical bench noting that the team was kept in the dark and were only informed of their traveling arrangements a day before departure.

FKL’s Hussein Swaleh announced that Oyugi’s sacking with Sofapaka deputy coach Ezekiel Akwana replacing him.

“We have decided to sideline Oyugi after he defied our directive to select a strong team for the trip. We are perturbed that instead of adhering to our directives, he opted to pick a team from the National Youth Talent Academy(NYTA), ” he said.

“We have noted that there is abundant talent within the teams that were playing in the Under 19 KPL youth tournament who we feel should be considered,” he added.

But a bitter Oyugi said, “Together with my assistant- Edward Karanja, We made several phone calls to different Premier League Club coaches in regard to their Under 23 players. Sony Sugar sent only one player who came very late, we could not accept him.I cannot prepare a team within a day or two but KPL clubs gave me strict conditions that they could only release their players two days before trip.”

“To me,” added Oyugi, “The 4-1 defeat was better than giving our opponents(Eritrea) a walk-over! Eritrean Football Federation, worked closely with their affiliate clubs and we were reliably informed that their players were released 14 days prior to the big match.”

This is what the coach Mr. Bob Oyugi has to say before he depart to Eritrea for the match:

We are well prepared and want to go all out. My main objective will be to attack but if we cannot get a win, a scoring draw will good so that when we come back home we can finish off the Eritreans and move to the next round.”