Lack of quality players blamed for Kenya big loss to Mali

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Nick Mwendwa, the president of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), has denied charges that his poor leadership cost Kenya the right to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Kenya was defeated 1-0 by Mali in a World Cup qualification match in Nairobi on Sunday, ending their hopes of qualifying for the tournament for the first time in history.

Mali beat the East Africans 5-0 in the first leg played in Morocco on October 7.

During an interview with a local radio station on Tuesday, Mr Mwendwa blamed the team’s poor performance on a lack of quality players capable of performing at the highest level.

“The work that needs to be done is we need to bring the talent to the table to record good results, which comes with quality players,” Mwendwa said.

“Even if you bring Mourinho or Arteta, the work that needs to be done must start from the young players and lowest level that we can nurture to perform at the highest level,” he added.

Simultaneously, the federation’s president justified his decision to hire Engin Firat as head coach despite his terrible track record.

“A permanent coach was going to cost us a lot of money and the option that we had was to select a top coach who was willing to accept a short-term contract,” he noted.

Firat was hired for a two-month contract in September.

Kenya was drawn in Group E alongside Mali, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Mali is in first place with ten points, followed by Uganda with eight. Kenya and Rwanda are in third and fourth place, respectively, with two and one points.

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