Don’t sweep issues under the carpet

Ababu Namwamba

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba (right) shares a word with Fifa Director Member Association Africa and former footballer Gelson Fernandes on January 9, 2023 during a press briefing at Maktaba kuu building, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • We have a new government and it could be having some feel for sports. This body should be reconstituted or be disbanded before we talk about anything else in sports.

The new Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba, has so far shown us the path to revival of our football.

We are free from the Fifa ban and our leagues are underway. We are of the belief that we are on the right path, and in spite of our fears, we are hoping to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations with other countries in East Africa.

The move towards such audacity has been very fast and we seem to have forgotten the past occasions when we burnt our fingers and succeeded in embarrassing ourselves by failing miserably to be ready in time.

We don’t have to make fools of ourselves again if we start from the beginning.

That beginning is accepting first of all that we do not have stadiums that are up to the standard required to host international football.

None of the playing facilities we have fits either by CAF or Fifa standards. We do have a Ministry of Sports, but somehow there is a shadowy public body that is well hidden from the public.

That is the Sports Stadia Management Board, which is the first stop in our ambition to grow football in this country.

This obscure and vague body must be disbanded with immediate effect before any move to develop is even contemplated.

The body exists only in darkness and it prefers the most ancient communication skills to reach them! Smoke signals and fire on beacons are the only means they respect; and they are never on the lookout.

This is the posse that calmly forgets to water pitches or even level them after a match; therein are the culprits that have already caused so many injuries to our players from their uneven playing surfaces.

The board has comfortable and unperturbed people, and the only time one hears of them is when the Auditor General blames them for holding 52 meetings in a year and inflating their allowances for the same meetings.

We only remember this group when we hear they have booked the facilities for campaigns and reneged on that against the opposition…they then fade away, and like chameleons, we don’t get to see them again until another trifle forces them to the surface.

This board cannot be found in all social media; they do have accounts there, but those accounts are deliberately dead; they have the scantiest information and we only know that once in a while the President orders the employment of some football fan to that body as was done for Jaro Soldier whose life took a good turn when former President Uhuru Kenyatta honoured him into that closed circle!

We have a new government and it could be having some feel for sports. This body should be reconstituted or be disbanded before we talk about anything else in sports.

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