What you need to know:
- The polls were delayed for almost a year by legal battles at the High Court and Sports Dispute Tribunal.
- There was a ray of hope when Mwendwa was elected into office through “Team Change” five years ago.
The on-and-off Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections were finally held on Saturday at Safari Park Hotel. As widely expected, Nicholas “Nick” Mwendwa retained his position as president.
The polls were delayed for almost a year by legal battles at the High Court and Sports Dispute Tribunal. But even with things now settled, it won’t be all rosy for Mwendwa as he gets down to his second and final four-year term as per the Sports Act — though the FKF constitution allows him to seek a third term.
The onus is now on Mwendwa to unite all football stakeholders, including those who lost in the elections or stayed away.
But some level of stability is required if he is to succeed. His team must move with zest and speed to put in place a team that will work on Covid-19 safety protocols for the safe return of football as soon as possible.
With no football match played since March due to the pandemic, many have undergone untold suffering. Nearly 5,000 players are idle, in addition to coaches, referees and traders who depend on the sport.
Ray of hope
There was a ray of hope when Mwendwa was elected into office through “Team Change” five years ago. He promised to govern with professionalism, even vowing to take the national team, Harambee Stars to the World Cup.
However, little has happened and, instead, there have been accusations of financial mismanagement with millions of shillings allegedly lost.
For instance, the federation is yet to satisfactorily account for Harambee Stars sponsorship for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the purchase of an Outside Broadcast van that was never delivered.
Mwendwa must now endeavour to run a corruption-free federation while making wise decisions in consultation with the rest of the executive.
The one-man shows and roadside decisions that have been witnessed over the years must cease. Stability and sound leadership are what is needed for “the beautiful game” to grow in this country.