Tuesday, 3 July 2007
For those who read the dailies and flip through the sports pages of the leading dailies, in the last 2 months, we have seen major companies in Kenya splashing over KShs. 30 million. This is to sponsor the secondary/high schools tournaments. This couldn’t have come at a better time. With the crop of the current national players and Premier League approaching their sunset years, it’s only logical that they have feeder programmes which will ensure that there is constant supply of new players.
Ideally Kenya should have an under 14, under 17, under 19 and the national team all with a wide base to choose from. As in other programmes and countries supported by FIFA (the Goal Project…see…) these teams should have their own camps, different training schedules , different managers and technical benches but under the same mandate which in our case would be KFF.
But alas, this is not to be. The last time I heard about the under 19 (or was it under 17?) was when they played some Ghanains in a friendly which they lost but not without raising concern about age-cheating by Ghana. I have said severally that talking about KFF officials is like finding fool’s gold! Bright in promise, but all a sham!
Referring to the commitments made by the corporations, I would state the following;
1.It would be in vain contributing money and funds to the development of youth at the early stages only for them to graduate to non-existent or under-funded teams. Measures should be put in place to finance existing and emerging teams to be able to provide continuity.
2.It is also important for the corporations to engage the KFF officials in making commitments that will bind them and be held accountable for the success/failure of the development of the leagues.
3.Commercialisation and development of such and related structures need be explored in the very near future if Kenyan football is to make sense. The time for institutional teams (some tribal if I maybe corrected) is almost over and without the numbers of the ardent fans and fan clubs, alternative sources of sustenance need be sort.
4.Issues relating to media presentation and appeal, stadia development, fan management and major sponsorship need be addressed. Some media houses would only be too willing to screen the games but not the mediocre games that have occasioned our stadiums.
With the World Cup coming to Africa for the first time (and maybe only time in the near future), let not Kenyan football be a shadow and be passed over by this lucrative opportunity. Can SOMEBODY hear me ****?