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Africa Cup of Nations

Paul Put: FKF want weak friendlies for Harambee Stars

2:59 PM SGT 4/3/18
Harambee Stars technical bench Paul Put and Stanley Okumbi.
The Belgian tactician reveals that he had secured a friendly against Algeria that was shot down by the federation bosses

Former Harambee Stars coach Paul Put has revealed that the federation turned down a proposal to play Algeria and Luxembourg in friendly matches.

In an interview with Nation Sports, the Belgian tactician revealed that he had secured a friendly against Algeria that was shot down by the federation bosses.

Put, who resigned as Kenyan coach mid last month, said the FKF bosses argued that the friendly was too strong for Kenya to handle.

"I was requested to have Kenya play in Algeria by the President of USM Algier, who is also the vice president of the country’s federation. He told me he could invite us to play Algeria and they would pay everything for all 32 people.

“I sent him mail suggesting 44 people, and he agreed everything and signed, then I gave the proposal to FKF President (Mwendwa) but he was afraid that they would be too strong for us, saying we look for other opponents.

“I contacted another agent, who contacted Luxembourg that were to pay for everything. For me, friendlies are not about winning but to help me see my team’s weaknesses and to learn, I had those options but they were rejected. If you are to prepare for a team like Ghana, you need strong opposition.”

The former Gambia and Burkina Faso coach quit the Kenyan job in a huff after his demands to have a backroom staff from abroad was turned down by FKF.

Put was appointed as Stars coach on November 18 last year during the FKF Annual General Meeting in Mombasa and led Kenya to the 2018 Cecafa Senior Challenge title after beating Zanzibar in the final.

His main task now is to help qualify the Syli National to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, and his first game in charge will be against Mauritania in a friendly set for Nouakchott on March 24.