Harambee Stars boss Firat hits back at ignorant ‘football experts’ for bashing him after winning award

FOOTBALL Harambee Stars boss Firat hits back at ignorant ‘football experts’ for bashing him after winning award

Mark Kinyanjui 07:53 - 31.12.2023

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has slammed his critics who questioned why he won the most successful Turkish coach abroad award given Kenya's low FIFA Rankings

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has explained why he was awarded the most successful Turkish coach abroad award, brutally attacking critics for claiming he did not deserve it.

Turkey’s IHA News reported that the 53-year-old Firat scooped the top honours during the Istanbul ATA Club Award ceremony held in Istanbul last week.

Firat’s 'remarkable success' since taking over the Harambee Stars role was cited as part of the reasons he was crowned the best for 2023.

“Leading Kenya, a nation known for athleticism but not football, Fırat elevated the country onto the international football stage,” the outlet claimed.

“His remarkable achievements, particularly away performances and results against formidable teams like Iran, Qatar, and Russia, have garnered global recognition. 

“Against all odds and without any players in a top team, Fırat successfully transformed Kenya into a team with a promising future.”

Speaking on Radio Jambo on Saturday, Firat has now explained why he was feted, despite only registering three wins from eight games managed in 2023.

“This is exactly the same situation, you know,” Firat remarked.

“Here, the people do not understand who we played. We played Iran, Qatar, Russia and we played away and not at home.

“Everybody forgets this (we had just come from a ban). Even the coach of Iran asked me,; ’How did you make it? 500 days without a match, you come like this?’”

Firat has admitted that he “got really mad” that he was criticised by Kenyan media for winning an award despite getting Harambee Stars to drop in the FIFA rankings.

Kenya dropped from 105 in March to 110 in December despite winning three games, and Firat has explained the reason why.

“You can ask me whatever you want, you can criticise me, but don’t come (at me) with stupid things, so what happened exactly after the award, some people wrote, how can I get an award if we dropped in the Fifa ranking? 

“I got really mad because I have to explain to the football fans here (how the ranking works) because it is not their job to check how it works, but these so called “football experts” and journalists, how they do not know all this and yet they write that, they did not understand this.

“We did not play any official match because we had a ban, so how this FIFA ranking works is if, for example, I play a friendly match against Tanzania and I win, but Tanzania play Uganda and lose, Tanzania will get a minimum 2.5 times more points  than me, or five times points more than me for the same thing!

“Even If you have no official match and you win all of them, you drop automatically because they don’t count. You don’t need to be a football expert to know this!

“God gave you a brain, use it. How you can go out telling all these things to the people, always telling negative news and then you begin to wonder if I put it in your face.”

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