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‘The deer is back in the woods’ – Kenya coach Mulee returns from India

10:39 BST 27/05/2021
Harambee Stars and Kenya coach Jacob Mulee.
The 53-year-old was left stranded in New Delhi after the Kenyan government banned flights from the Asian country to land at JKIA

Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has finally returned home from India where he was among the dozens of Kenyans stranded in the wake of the government’s decision to suspend passenger flights to and from the Asian country.

The veteran tactician had visited India earlier in May to help donate a kidney to his brother, and they were both receiving treatments at the Apollo hospital in New Delhi for the past three weeks. 

But his return home was stopped after the Kenyan government through the Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced a suspension of flights from India for 14 days following a surge in positive Covid-19 cases in the country.

At the same time, Kagwe also announced passengers transiting through India would be required to observe a 14-day mandatory period that has to be monitored by Kenya’s health officials.

However, the 53-year-old tactician, who was appointed to handle Harambee Stars following the unceremonious exit of Francis Kimanzi, has taken to his social media pages to confirm his return to the country on Thursday.

What did he say?

“The deer is back in the woods; I thank God am back doing what l love,” Mulee posted.

In a recent interview, Mulee maintained he was fit and ready to lead Kenya in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, whose qualifiers were slated to kick-off in June, but the Confederation of African Football rescheduled the matches to commence in October, citing the challenges brought about surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

What Mulee said before?

“It is good news [that the qualifiers have been postponed],” Mulee said. “Most of our local-based players have been out of competition and I was worried about their fitness ahead of such crucial matches.

“We are at a disadvantage. We experienced this challenge against Comoros last year and it affected our performances. The rescheduling gives me ample time to monitor them and plan well.”

Mulee, one of the most experienced coaches in the country, returned to take charge of Harambee Stars in October 2020 just after Nick Mwendwa had won the Football Kenya Federation presidential re-election.

He came and led Kenya during a home game against Comoros where they were held to a 1-1 draw in Nairobi. His second game was the qualifier in Moroni, where Harambee Stars were beaten 2-1 and saw their chances of qualifying for the 2022 Afcon finals become slim.

As per the fixture roster from Caf, Kenya will face neigbours Uganda Cranes in their opener on November 11 before hosting Rwanda's Amavubi in Nairobi a week later.

Kenya, who are seeking to qualify for their first-ever World Cup finals tournament, will also face Mali in their group.