What you need to know:
- It started as the FKF Premier League, then morphed into the Caretaker Committee League and ended as the Transition Committee League
- Perhaps your team wasn’t involved, but in a league that is played in obscurity, without live coverage, officiated by unpaid referees, and involving players who are hungry, depressed and broke, honesty becomes a preserve of fools
Applauding Tusker for winning this season’s top flight league for the 13th time seems to be the currency in local football circles this week, but I struggle to find the right platitudes to give. What came to me naturally when I saw the brewers lift the league trophy on Sunday was empathy. I am not sad or jealous that they’ve won the league, what I am is sorry. So sorry, first of all, that the black and yellows have won a league without a definitive name.
It started as the FKF Premier League, then morphed into the Caretaker Committee League and ended as the Transition Committee League. And, all indications are that the competition will have a different name next season. To mark your record 13th title, which name will you settle for, dear Tusker?
That aside, I am sorry, dear brewers, that the trophy you took home is one with no history, most likely sourced from a convenience store on Moi Avenue to serve the purpose. It has no history and its specifications are unknown. What is its real value? Sorry also that the Sh2 million cash prize you received is a whopping Sh3 million smaller than the amount top flight league champions are entitled to in ordinary times. You did deserve the full Sh5 million reward.
Although really, it is hard to tell whether you really deserved it. I mean, you’ve won at a time when serious and numerous match fixing allegations were raised almost every week. Perhaps your team wasn’t involved, but in a league that is played in obscurity, without live coverage, officiated by unpaid referees, and involving players who are hungry, depressed and broke, honesty becomes a preserve of fools. The weekly noise regarding dubious results will certainly blight this season’s records.
Sorry, dear Tusker, that you have won the league in a season when fixtures came in drip drip fashion, with some game venues only being known on the eve of the match, and others being changed on match day. This league has certainly been one for the books. Sorry also, that you didn’t get to play all games. From Kariobangi Sharks to Mathare United to Talanta, forfeiture of matches was so rampant that in the end, it was no longer newsworthy.
Also, sorry that although you stand as champions, several disputes remain unresolved before a hurriedly formed disputes resolution committee. We hope none of the rulings, when they eventually come out, will affect your victory.
Sorry also that although you stand as champions, your participation in the Caf Champions League is not guaranteed. Your star players would certainly benefit from the exposure, but for the small matter of the Fifa suspension. How sad that your championship is only recognisable within the shores of our country.
Hope with me that the next government will offer a clear pathway out of the current mess, so that when you win the league again next season, you may wear with greater pride the full status of champions.
That said, hearty congratulations to Kefwa’s Head of Women Football Terry Ouko on being appointed to Fifpro Africa as a Board Member. Her experience as a player, journalist, national team manager and sober advocate of local footballers’ rights will certainly be of great help to the organisation. Who said that women have no place in football?