Monday, 5 January 2009

Football: Kenyan team gets it rough

Image courtesy of The Standard

For fear of being called pessimistic, I am not surprised by our national team struggling at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Jinja and Kampala. As much as we would love to say we are currently the best ranked team in the region (at 65th place) the going has been rough against the teams considered to be the toughest outside of the hosts, Uganda (ranked 71st on the FIFA rankings).
Zambia(72nd) and Sudan (93rd) are clearly not teams to be underestimated given their pedigree and also prior experiences in the region.
The Kenyan team didn't quite get prepared for the tournament and I pity one Francis Kimanzi who had to wait for the Kenyan officials who can't agree on who's to run what to appoint him. There was also the Christmas break which didn't do much justice. As if not enough, the officials took their 'domez' across the border and some had to sent away by CECAFA Secretary-Kenyan Nick Musonye- if I was to be queried both FKL's and KFF officials' ought not to have been allowed there.
With the remaining fixtures looking relatively easy, Kenya might just make it into the semi-finals and may just scratch a result into the final. It will be interesting to see how Kimanzi manages and inspires his charges for the first time in a tournament setting.
The Kenyan officials-whoever is running the Harambee Stars ship- might look into inviting a few of the countries after the tournament and also use this as a good build-up for the coming Africa Cup of Nations/World Cup qualifiers.
It seems the Ugandans are not such football fans after all. The low numbers experienced in the stadiums is not good for future football events to be hosted in the country. The timing also may have played a part since most people may have decided to leave for their homes for the festivities. Explains why they should host it between the 1st and 2nd weeks of December.
I guess the English Premiership has gained a foothold like it has for most African nations. Can we at least support our national teams if we are not really inspired by the club sides yet ?


Anonymous said...

As I watched the tournament highlights on TV yesterday I couldn't help noticing the decrepit state of the football pitch that hosted the match between Kenya and Djibouti; and to think that CECAFA had "inspected" the pitches before hand makes me wonder whether the officials did the inspection with their sunglasses on! The pitch looked like one of those unkempt pitches you would find in Jericho estate or better still in Ofafa Jericho Sec school; and have you noticed we are talking about pitches and not a stadium...

The Figure said...

That's the tragedy of African (read CECAFA) football ! When we ought to be improving our status looking out for the World Cup, we take 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.
If a country doesn't have the standard stadiums to host a championship, don't force issues just to look representative at the regional front.
It's not an excuse for Uganda too which has one good stadium but grazelands for pitches.
Musonye had better give us a better championship next time(I hear it's coming to Kenya...)
No wonder GTV and other sponsors are feeling cheated !