Kenyans expected a lot, but got almost nothing. When Antoine Hey was unveiled by the Prime Minister in March this year, many a fan thought the saviour to our national football woes had finally landed.
But his nine-month sojourn seems dead and buried after the German coach hurriedly and discreetly left the country on Thursday night. His sudden departure wasn’t a big worry, but it’s how he left the country that has raised many queries.
“I received a call on Thursday at about midnight from Kamal Halat, Hey’s assistant coach, directing me to go and pick the tactician’s car at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as they were on their way out of the country,” recounted Harambee Stars’ team manager, Edward Oduor.
Now that’s not the best way to behave, for a coach who, in only nine months, has pocketed more than Sh15 million in salary and match bonuses. “It took all of us by surprise at the turn of events. We never expected him to behave this way, especially when we were about to play that crucial tie against Nigeria,” added Oduor.
But there’s little, at least for the moment, that Football Kenya Limited can do about Hey’s departure. Going by a signed contract between the two parties (FKL and Hey) there’s no mention of the repercussions) that would befall Hey, should he breach the contract.
Only the employee hereby referred to as the first party, can be penalised. According to the fifth section, article A of the contract signed on March 1, “…In case the first party (FKL) desire to terminate the contract before its due date (December 31 2010) it has to pay a monetary compensation to the second party equal to contract duration 22 months salary…”
But absconding seems to have been Hey’s hobby. In 2008, while the head coach of Gambia, he delayed his arrival to the country until his money was paid to his account by the Department of State for Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs.
He never returned, abandoning the national team that was preparing for the qualifiers to the 2008 Nations Cup. He had worked for three months without pay before walking out on the Gambian Football Federation. He set a condition of full payment of his outstanding allowances before his return.