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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Cracks start to show in Harambee Stars technical bench

7:28 AM GMT 05/02/2018
Harambee Stars technical bench Paul Put and Stanley Okumbi.
Put, one of the most sort-after coaches in Africa is expected to guide Kenya in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Paul Put may exit his role as Harambee Stars coach should Football Kenyan Federation fail to meet his demands of shuffling the technical bench.

Put’s commitment to Stars has been a cause for concern FKF after Guinea emerged as the most likely destination for the Belgian.

Put, who signed a two year deal with FKF last November, has been linked with Guinea’s national team head coach job that fell vacant last January after the West African nation parted ways with Kanfory Bangoura following a dismal performance at the just concluded Africa Nations Champions in Morocco.

The former Burkina Faso coach is understood to have tabled fresh demands to FKF, key among them, a call to drop his assistants, Stanley Okumbi and John Kamau, failure to which he may tender in his resignation letter that may see him leave for Guinea that is understood to be interested in the services of the 61-year-old.

Put, one of the most sort-after coaches in Africa is expected to guide Kenya in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at home against Ghana on March 23.

But before Ghana arrives in the country, the Belgian has sought to execute changes in the technical bench ahead of the crucial tie, a move that may see Okumbi fall further down in the pecking order after he was relegated to the less prestigious assistant coach role following the appointment of Put, late last year.

Okumbi has been handling the U-20 team that is set to hit camp soon in readiness for the upcoming Africa Youth Championship.

Put wants to bring in his own backroom staff, a common practice in top-level football, though funds may not allow him to have a free hand in choosing who to work with.

If effected, Put’s demands will fetch the already broke FKF close to five million in wages to the technical bench, a change that FKF is not willing to take to easily accept.

“This is going to be tough because there are no funds to pay the additional staff,” an unnamed source at FKF was quoted by the Nairobinews.