What you need to know:
- The Ministry of Sports has awarded contract extensions to a bunch of individuals who have proven twice before that they have little to offer
- Additionally, let us be prepared to sanitise the FKF constitution, for real this time, and then find ways of building a new relationship between FKF and the people
Uganda’s Crested Cranes are heading to the Africa Cup of Nations at Kenya’s expense. Tanzania’s Under-17 women’s team will soon be representing the whole of sub Saharan Africa in a World Cup tournament and all our other neighbours are dreaming of making it big in the football scene as we remain stuck in this valley of dormancy.
The Sports Fund has exhausted all funds allocated to it for this current financial year despite the fact that federations can't account for the money, Harambee Stars has faded into distant memory and the cries of match fixing in the local league have risen to a deafening crescendo.
Amid all that, the Ministry of Sports has awarded contract extensions to a bunch of individuals who have proven twice before that they have little to offer. It just means one thing. Government is not ready to solve the current impasse. On her way out, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has packed up the mess she helped create, boxed it and marked it as the next regime’s problem.
Considering the complex dynamics of election season, and the length of time the new regime will require to get its feet properly under the table, there is no telling when the process of sanitising local football will really start. But when that time comes, we need to be well prepared.
First, we need a change of mindset. We need to recognise that while Kenya is a sovereign state with a constitution that deserves respect, negotiation is not appeasement. If we want this to be the last football crisis, we must concentrate on setting the table for the right kind of negotiation, rather than arguing unnecessarily about how much we are prepared to give or take. Our modus operandi also needs to change.
The enemy that was Nick Mwendwa and his cronies has already been dealt with. To prevent them from returning to any seats of power, we must follow their ouster with prosecution. Let someone go to jail if they deserve it. Let the courts declare them innocent if they indeed are.
Additionally, let us be prepared to sanitise the FKF constitution, for real this time, and then find ways of building a new relationship between FKF and the people. Fans are highly important in the football ecosystem, so we need to find ways of bringing them back into the stadium. In fact, let us go one up and create vibrant fan organisations that are duly registered and then give them the right to vote for future football leaders. Perhaps such a body will save us from corrupt delegates.
Needless to say, any reforms that don’t have the players at heart are bound to fail. For this, we should act now to appease our long suffering footballers by compelling their clubs to provide them with comprehensive medical insurance, timely and substantial pay and respect of their contracts. Better to have a league of only 10 clubs which properly take care of their players.
If they have the interests of football at heart, the Transition Committee should engage experts to help prepare for a renaissance of Kenyan football instead of whiling away time so that by the time the new football governor is installed, we shall be a step ahead in our quest to return to international football.