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Extravagant? The Frustrations of Minimal Resources: Belgian Coach Paul Put Reveals Why He Left Kenya’s Managerial Job

Personal reasons’ was the rationale advanced by the Kenyan Football Federation (KFF) announcing the departure of Paul Put from his job as Harambee Stars’ coach. The two phrases didn’t clearly offer insight as to why Paul would leave and the Belgian’s decision to remain tight-lipped even after days following his exit made it a tough code for the Kenyan press to break.
However, the 61-year-old has chosen to lift the lid this weekend in an in depth interview with one of the East African country’s leading tabloid. His assessment of his time as Kenya’s tactician was damning in what was his shortest stint as head of a national team outfit, of the eleven years he’d spent in Africa.

According to Put, who was banned six years for match-fixing in his homeland, he was accorded just five of the hundred percent backing he expected from the KFF.
In the time he’d been with Gambia and Algeria, he was allocated a luxury Range Rover Sport vehicle, while Burkina Faso and Jordan provided a chauffeur to aid his locomotion. This last time round, such treatment of luxury wasn’t offered to him regardless of maintaining same role in a different country and instead, was forced to make do with a small Toyota, a far cry from the second-hand four-wheel drive, he said, ‘the federation promised but never delivered’.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“About the car, the federation asked me what I wanted, and I told them to give me a decent car, then they said they would get me a four-wheel drive car because of the long distances involved,”[/perfectpullquote]

About the car, the federation asked me what I wanted, and I told them to give me a decent car, then they said they would get me a four-wheel drive car because of the long distances involved,” said the man who spurred Gambia to a famous one-all draw with neighbours Senegal, nine years ago.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I was showed the apartment here (he points at his residence), I liked it but asked that an office table which was promised but not delivered. Now I have been working from my dining table and whenever I wanted to print something, I have had to fix the printer in the kitchen.[/perfectpullquote]

“After Cecafa, we went with Nick (Mwendwa) and Robert (Muthomi) to check it out but nothing came of it. I’ve been using a small Toyota car from the federation, which was not comfortable but I never complained. In Gambia and Algeria, I was driving a Range Rover Sport, in Burkina Faso a Prado, and in Jordan I was provided with a driver by the Prince (Ali Bin Hussein). None of those countries assigned me a second-hand car that never came like Kenya did,” he lamented.

The Belgian comments were aimed at debunking rife reports that his excessive demands for luxurious things was the reason for his departure from the Kenyan federation.
Having worked with the likes of the Traore brothers – Alain and Bertrand – and led the Stallions of Burkina Faso to the Nations Cup 2013 edition Finals, there was wave of optimism from Kenyans for Paul to pull off a similar feat with the Stars.
Early moments of his stay promised much after he delivered the Cecafa Cup last December using exclusively local players from the domestic league.
But cracks began showing in his relationship with the KFF following his complaint over the late payment of his €3,500 monthly pay which, he said, he was asked to exercise patience for.

Put reveals his relationship with the Federation reached an all-time low when the Kenyan football authorities failed to live up to their word to bolster his technical bench with professionals.
Refusal to accept Luxembourg and Algeria’s proposal for an all-expense paid trip for a friendly which Put had hoped to test his Harambee players ahead of the Ghana qualifier game, only escalated the growing tempestuous ties with the KFF.
“One, I had an issue with my salary but I can’t blame the Federation because I signed a contract for the first time in my career in US Dollars so when I sent money to my family in Belgium, I was losing a lot every month. I requested them to find a solution, ‘what’s 3,500 Euros from the government anyway?’ But they told me to be patient.
“Two. After (2017) Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, I requested for five more staff on the technical bench plus an analyzing system to help track our players abroad and study our opponents but there was no response. I don’t think it was the right time for Kenya to hire a professional coach because they are struggling a lot and it’s sad I had to leave with a broken heart,” he told Kenya’s Daily Nation.
Put’s task now is to qualify Syli Nationale of Guinea Conakry to the 2019 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations.
The Kenyan federation is yet to respond to the 61-year-old’s allegations.

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