Towards the close of July 1970 the Masinde Muliro, the Minister of Co-operatives and Social Services, is whose docket the Sports portfolio fell, named West German Ekhard Krautzun as Kenya’s National Football Coach.
Krautzun, a former player with German sides SG Union Solingen, Rheydter SV, FC Kaiserslautern and TeBe Berlin, had trained the Japanese Soccer side to a Bronze Medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Thereafter, the Coach who schooled at the German Sports High School in Cologne where he acquired a British License to train in English speaking countries, coached South Korea to the Asia Cup.
Four big factors had led to the hiring of Krautzun; First, Kenya’s performance in the region was falling to abysmal levels fast. For two straight years – 1968 and 1969, Kenya had effortlessly missed out on the Challenge Cup, renamed from the Gossage Cup.
Secondly, ratings for Uganda had significantly improved in those two years winning the Challenge Cup by remaining unbeaten by virtue of having a professional Coach – West German Bukhard Pape.
With a professional Coach Milan Celebic from the Czech Republic, relatively underachieving Tanzania rose to the top winning only their third and fourth Gossage Cups for two straight years – 1964 and 1965.
Thirdly, in mid December of 1968, the then Minister of Co-operatives and Social Services Ronald Ngala had dissolved the Football Association (FA) of Kenya. He put in place a caretaker Committee led by John Njenga who was tasked with giving recommendations on how to improve Kenyan football. Hiring of a professional Coach was in the environs of his top listed proposals.
The fourth and final reason was a good gesture from the Kenya Breweries who, via the Managing Director Kenneth Matiba, issued Muliro’s Ministry with a cheque of £10,000 in mid December 1969 which would go into the recompense of foreign Coach – once found.
Without the backing of Breweries, the FA on its own would not have managed to pay a high profile Coach as it was busy juggling finances with the little pennies at its disposal.
Krautzun announcement as Coach meant Peter Oronge, hired early in the year as Coach would relinquish his post to make way for the German.
With the Challenge Cup due to kick off in Tanzania in late September, Krautzun was expected to land early, sign a two year deal and put the team in camp for early preparations. He never showed up.
But with two weeks to the tourney, the young bubbling 29 year old who had just concluded a professional stint with Swiss side Young Fellows Zurich arrived and was met by David Muraya – the Executive Officer of the FA of Kenya, William Yeda – the Kenya Sports Officer and Jonathan Njenga – the Director of Community Development.
It is at this point that he revealed why he had not landed any earlier; while the FA was negotiating to pay him in Kshs, he wanted to be paid in Dollars as ‘German Soccer Coaches have a standing rule that their coaches must be paid in US Dollars’
“This question has now been settled and I will be paid half my salary in US dollars and half in Kenya currency” he said to the local press.
Being a late comer, he left Oronge and his assistant Shem Chimoto to be in charge of the challenge Cup squad. Notwithstanding, he traveled to Tanzania for the tourney as an observer and took over the team right after.
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