Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Kenyan Football staggers along

With a few games played in the Kenyan Premier League, the lethargy is slowly coming off the world's most popular sport. I'll not have any illusions but I guess with the activities seen in the political arena, almost all citizens will want to forget some of the bad memories both recent and past as soon as possible.
It would be a good thing going if the KFF officials would extend the same olive branch, first among themselves then against the fans they've disappointed for so long. A few weeks ago, a local politician even said, 'football is a game of gentlemen watched by thugs'. Guess he knew where he was coming from.
With the TV rights seemingly doing some magic, a lot needs to done. First, the game is short of arenas especially outside the City(Nairobi). There are no suitable grounds to play on or even train on. The town and other city councils never invested in such infrastructure and those that did have no worthy grounds to talk about.
Secondly, the teams badly need corporate sponsorship. Except for say Tusker FC,Mathare United and maybe a few other teams sponsored by firms from their locality, most teams have no sponsorship ( revenues more precisely) to talk about.
Another pressing issue is the technical expertise of the bench. Most have former footballers for coaches not so much because they have the expertise but because some are the cheapest way out. Where some are coaches, no papers or professional qualifications are there to write about.
Hoping the game gets some exposure from the TV broadcasts, quality play needs to match the game. This can be learnt from English or Spanish leagues which either employ innovative marketing skills or have huge names playing in their leagues. But at the end of the day, the fans need to earn their time spent watching the game. Ask the Germans with their Bundesliga from 1980s to the current years.
I'll be watching and hopefully, the season holds a cherry at the end of the tree !

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