Mohammed Kheri: Former Harambee Stars Coach Critiques Current Players’ Passion

Mohammed Kheri: Former Harambee Stars Coach Critiques Current Players’ Passion

Robert Abong'o
updated at December 27, 2023 at 9:07 AM
In this article:
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  • Mohammed Kheri is concerned about the national team’s players’ passion
  • The veteran coach took over the reins at Harambee Stars in the 1990s
  • Kheri advocates for the development of youth centres and grassroots football

Mohammed Kheri, former coach of Harambee Stars in the 1990s, has expressed his concern about the current generation of players, citing a perceived lack of commitment and passion for representing the national flag compared to previous years.

Kheri believes that money's influence has diminished patriotism among today's players globally, stressing a shift from the spirited fight for the flag seen in his era.

He says the contemporary focus is more on financial gains than the intrinsic pride of playing for the national team.

Former Kenya head coach Mohammed Kheri. Photo: Chris Omollo and Simon Holmes.
Former Kenya head coach Mohammed Kheri is concerned about players' commitment. Photo: Chris Omollo and Simon Holmes.
Source: Getty Images
"In our time, players used to fight for the flag, but these days, players are looking for money. In the past, there was a spirit to fight on the field, but nowadays there is none," he is quoted on Citizen Digital.

The veteran coach has urged the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to prioritise grassroots talent development, stressing the need to establish age-group teams that can be nurtured for the future. Kheri emphasizes that building a strong football foundation requires a comprehensive youth development program nationwide.

In his recommendations, Kheri proposes selecting young players nationwide and organizing special competitions during school breaks to give them exposure.

In December 2021, ex-national football team coaches and players decried the country's lack of an intricate youth program to foster talent at an early age.

“Uganda is ahead because they have proper youth programs. The youth centres nurtured players who featured for the national team for 10 years. That is what we are lacking today,” Kheri said, as reported by The Star.

He highlights missed opportunities in regional youth events and international competitions like the Gothia Cup, which he believes could enhance players' skills and readiness for events like the recent Cecafa youth championships.

Additionally, Kheri advocates for the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including veteran players and coaches, in the football administration. He emphasizes the value of experience, suggesting leaders should seek advice from seasoned individuals without charge.

Harambee Stars end 2023 in 110th

Sports Brief reported that Harambee Stars wrapped up the tumultuous year of 2023 by maintaining their position in the final FIFA World Men’s rankings, released on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

The team’s performance fluctuated during the year, recording impressive wins and disappointing defeats, contributing to their unmoved placing.

The team finishes the year ranked 110th with 1,181 points, having garnered no points since the last ranking update on November 30, 2023.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team