Firat unmasks Harambee Stars funding fiasco, unfazed by job security


FOOTBALL Firat unmasks Harambee Stars funding fiasco, unfazed by job security

Festus Chuma 07:03 - 15.09.2023

Engin Firat claims he funded Harambee Stars' Qatar trip, raising questions about federation support amidst a win and recent defeat.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has come forward with astonishing revelations concerning the recently organised international friendly against Qatar. 

The 53-year-old gaffer has boldly declared that not only did he single-handedly shoulder the responsibility of organising the entire match, but also personally financed it.

In the face of surprising results, where the Harambee Stars, ranked 105 in the world rankings, managed a commendable 2-1 victory over their higher-ranked Middle East opponents, Qatar, positioned at 59, the behind-the-scenes details have proved to be even more astounding.

"Many things are missing here. I can't be the only one organising everything, and there are no Kenyans involved," Firat expressed in the aftermath of the match played on Thursday 7 September in Doha. 

 "I brought our team manager and another friend, and we met the General Secretary of the Qatar Federation. I intervened and involved my friends. So, who do you think covered all the expenses? It was me. I didn't receive any salary and I paid from my own pocket. Yet, I apparently don't have any right to voice my concerns. This is serious."

While many would fear the repercussions of such revelations, especially against the backdrop of national football associations, Firat remains unfazed. 

 "Me, losing my job? Check the international news or ask the federation president, and you'll know whether I need to be concerned. My family often questions why, especially when there are so many teams inquiring about my services. 

"At this point, I'm relaxed. I'll say it again: I made a promise to the boys, and I'll do my best for them because they're doing it for their country," he noted.

Despite the joyous victory against Qatar, the Harambee Stars, unfortunately, succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to South Sudan in a subsequent international friendly at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Firat, who began his distinguished professional coaching career in 1997 as an assistant to Horst Hrubesch at Samsunspor, a Turkish side, has since then taken charge of 18 teams. 

These teams include both clubs and national squads, and his impressive credentials are further bolstered by his UEFA Pro Coaching License. 

Before his association with the Harambee Stars, he was in charge of the Moldova national team.