Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa is of the view that the national football team Harambee Stars lacks the quality to qualify for a World Cup final unless it gets top notch players.
In a startling admission during an interview with NTV on Monday evening, Mwendwa said that the team lacked quality and even if they were to be coached by Jose Mourinho(Roma manager) or Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, the Stars won’t still qualify for the football showpiece.
The Stars were on Sunday tossed out of the running for a World Cup spot after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Mali at home at the Nyayo National Stadium, the defeat coming three days after a 5-0 hiding at the hands of the same opposition in Morocco.
He said: “Even if you bring Mourinho, even if you bring Arteta here, the work that needs to be done is that we need to bring the talent on the table, for you to win we need quality players.
So let’s look at Mali for example, are we better than Mali? The Answer is that we are not because we have never brought out our players to that level.
And I want to tell Kenyans that we want to win and I am working every day to make Kenya win,” Mwendwa said.
The former Kariobangi Sharks chairman says the remedy is to improve the coaching skills of the local coaches to enable them tap and develop talent from an early stage.
“We had Page (Oliver) here in 2019 who selected a team of U-17 who were 23 of them. Sixteen of those have already found their way into the Kenyan Premier League clubs and we need to do that every year.
We need to even go to U-14 and this should be the trend. We are building the talent that is going to come tomorrow and this must start from the lowest level,” Mwendwa submitted.
However, the football boss defined that it was the federation’s wish to work with local coaches in Kenya’s aborted World Cup journey but it didn’t materialise after parting ways with tacticians Francis Kimanzi and Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, both homegrown, under unclear circumstances.
Nevertheless, Mwendwa has submitted that the youthful Harambee Stars squad pulled a top drawer display against Mali in the 0-1 loss at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
“We went away to Mali, I would say that we played very well but conceded five goals of which four were in the first half which obviously made it very tough.
Playing within three days against a team that has beaten you five is normally very tough. But yesterday (Sunday) we really played very well though we couldn’t utilize our chances where we lost 1-0 and this one leaves us not in a very good place,” Mwendwa concluded.
Harambee Stars sit third in Group E with two points only, eight behind leaders Mali while Uganda have second on eight points and Rwanda bottom with one point from four matches.