NAIROBI, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) — The fallout from Kenya’s insipid start to their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign has claimed the job of head coach Jacob Mulee on Wednesday evening.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announced in a statement that Mulee, his assistant Twahir Muhidin and goalkeeping coach Haggai Azande agreed to part ways by mutual consent.
The federation retained assistant coaches Ken Odhiambo and William Muluya, adding it will work to reconstruct the Harambee Stars technical bench ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers against Mali.
Mulee returned as Stars head coach for his fifth stint at the helm in October 2020, and led Kenya to pick two points from as many fixtures in Group E of the CAF second round 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Kenya opened its campaign with a 0-0 home draw against Uganda on Sept. 2 before drawing 1-1 in Rwanda three days later. That left them joint second with Uganda, with Mali leading the pool on four points. Rwanda props up the pool with one.
Stars will reboot their bid to qualify for their first ever World Cup final next month when they face Mali in a double header with the away fixture penned for Oct. 6 and the home game on Oct. 12.
“FKF is immensely grateful to Coach Mulee and his departing members of staff for their dedicated service and workmanship. The search for a new national team head coach is already underway and an announcement will be made shortly in that regard. There will be no further comment from FKF until a new appointment is made,” FKF said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
Mulee’s first stint with Stars, which lasted between 2002 and 2004, saw the team feature in the Tunisia 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.
He returned for brief spells in 2005 and March 2007 before his fourth spell in September 2010, but he quit in December after Stars lost three games in the regional CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.
The seasoned coach, who has also handled local outfit Tusker FC, Yanga SC of Tanzania and APR of Rwanda, has established himself as a radio breakfast show host and combined this role with heading the technical bench upon his fifth return to the national team.
In March, Mulee’s side failed to qualify for the 2021 AFCON finals after finishing third in Group G of the qualifiers.
With only one slot available from Group E of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Kenya’s chance of advancing to the third and final stage of the Road to Qatar looks slim, following its failure to win its games against neighbours Uganda and Rwanda.