Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Kenyan Football Scene- Jab or Jive?

After a chaotic season Premier League and equally disorganized end of the League games, the Kenyan football takes a break for a few months. This is despite the fact that most Leagues in other parts of the world are in their 1st halves. To make it more interesting is the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup scheduled for early December in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. This is the ONLY serious tournament Kenya will hope to play until after the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as a national team, having been bundled out of the qualifiers earlier this year.
The item that has seen some positive sentiment on the scene is the recruitment of the Technical Director for KFF- Mr. Patrick Naggi- currently the Tusker Sports CEO and also Kenya Premier League Limited chairman. Having beaten 7 other applicants to the job, he seems destined for what might be things to come for Kenyan football. But is it really?
Thinking critically and in hindsight, let me show my pessimism with the said job;
First, as seen in the Premier League played this season, the Kenya Football Federation officials have been changed more than 3 times this year. The current crop of officials came through some court action and some letter and announcement made through the media. How legit do we think they are?
Secondly looking at the top officials almost all have served the federation before with any sterling performances. 20 years on while the game has grown in leaps and bounds ours has been reduced to a battle between the young men, a pair of shoes and roughshod grass on poorly maintained stadiums (with a few exceptions from those run by the Stadia Management Board). Doesn’t it hurt to see Kenyan stream to the local mabati kiosk with satellite TV to watch a game from overseas and the guys can name the whole squad, reserves and event the 3rd team if need be?
Third, some of these officials as is the norm around here have used their places as platforms for politics. I can’t see why these ones will be any different. I can swear to have seen one of them I the many political rallies that have been going on in these times.
Fourth, what structures are in place from the officials for the Director to take over? My goodness, this is one big task which requires enormous amounts of resources and also time and patience. If history serves me well, my Kenyan brothers will not spare his limb one bit if it doesn’t happen sooner than they expect. Ask any of the national team coaches both current and former.
Lastly and though not intending to belittle his achievements, he may not quite fit the bill for the task. Comparing with the likes of the German tactician who helped mould the Kenyan team of the 1980s & 90s, he can’t hold much ground. Exposure especially international, youth development and also commercializing the sport (which I hope he’s learnt in the 2 firms he’s worked with; Exclamation Marketing and Tusker Sports) might be points to give the sport much impetus needed to restore order and the shine it deserves.
FIFA has announced that they will not offer any more grants to the national team for any preparations or participation in the tournaments as they may come. The said monies will instead be channeled towards development of youth structures and infrastructure for the game in Kenya. Have they been reading my post or something……?
A FIFA development official Mr. Ashford Mamelodi also announced the renovation of one of Nairobi City’s stadium (incidentally called City Stadium-can’t they be more indigenous and innovative?) to the tune of over KShs. 39 million. This will help in laying the first artificial turf on Kenyan football grounds ( sic)....damn it has taken us that long ( and am not sure whether to cheer or cry since it ain’t fixed yet !)


Andruid said...

I hope this isn't one of those false dawns that are so common in Kenyan Football

The Figure said...

Thanx Andruid, that's my worry too. Old wine in new wineskins, methinks it don't taste any different !