Belgian coach Paul Put has resigned from managing Kenya’s national football team, the Kenyan Football Federation (FKF) confirmed on Monday.
The 61-year-old tactician was appointed by the FKF in November in an effort to boost the Harambe Stars’ chances of qualifying to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.
Put has previously trained Gambia’s and Burkina Faso’s national sides. In 2013, he led Burkina Faso to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, losing 1-0 to Nigeria.
Stanley Okumbi, who coached Kenya in 2016, will take over as interim coach.
The FKF announced that the process of finding a permanent replacement is already underway.
According to a statement by the FKF, Put opted out due to personal reasons.
“Football Kenya Federation wishes to inform the general public that Mr. Paul Put has officially resigned as the Kenya National Football Team, Harambee Stars Head Coach, citing personal reasons,” the Federation said in a statement.
'The tactician's resignation, though down to personal reasons is a setback to the country's ongoing 2019 AFCON qualifiers as he was an integral member of the Technical Bench. In light of the foregoing, FKF has already begun the process of finding a suitable replacement to fill Mr. Put's position, with Stanley Okumbi taking charge of the national team in the interim period.
“In light of the foregoing, FKF has already begun the process of finding a suitable replacement to fill Mr. Put’s position, with Stanley Okumbi taking charge of the national team in the interim period.
“Lastly, the federation thanks Mr. Put for his professional service and utmost commitment during his tenure with the Harambee Stars, this even as we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Kenya with hopes of qualifying to the 2019 AFCON
Put left Kenya third in Group F of qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, following a 2-1 defeat to Sierra Leona last June.
On Tuesday, a day after Put’s resignation, the Kenyan Federation announced a friendly match against Comoros on March 23.
This fixture is aimed at enhancing Kenya’s preparation for the 2019 AFCON.
Harambe Stars’ next qualifying match will be against Ghana on September 23 in a yet to be confirmed Kenyan venue.