• They have also trained over 3,000 coaches in the Basic/Advanced (CAF Level ‘D’ License) and a further 400 coaches in the CAF Level ‘C’ for free across all the 20 FKF Branches.
• In addition Sylvester Kirwa, the referees manager at the federation, observed that there has been an increased number of officials joining the elite status.
Former Harambee Stars Captain and FIFA Coach Instructor Musa Otieno believes that there are efforts geared towards disparaging the reign of Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa without considering the efforts he has made in improving the standards of the game.
Otieno said that even though no regime can perform at 100 per cent, Mwendwa had his challenges but will always be remembered for capacity building among coaches and referees, aimed at improving the standards of the sport in the country.
FKF in conjunction with Fifa conducted the first of its kind instructor’s course in the country and in Africa as a whole, which saw 60 instructors duly certified.
They have also trained over 3,000 coaches in the Basic/Advanced (CAF Level ‘D’ License) and a further 400 coaches in the CAF Level ‘C’ for free across all the 20 FKF Branches.
The courses have not only gone a long way in building capacity in the grassroots but also bridging an education gap that has denied local coaches job opportunities both at home and abroad.
Otieno said: “I thank the current federation for giving us the opportunity to attend these courses which will help build our capacity and hopefully, we will impart the knowledge we have gained to the coaches and players so as to help develop football in the country.”
In addition Sylvester Kirwa, the referees manager at the federation, observed that there has been an increased number of officials joining the elite status.
“When I was employed by the federation, we decided to focus on certain key areas: building capacity, recruitment, development and having more women,” said Kirwa.
He said the federation got two critical Fifa-funded courses which he says changed the fate of local referees.
“The result is that we sent women referees to the Africa Women Nations Cup (AWCON) and the World Cup for the first time. Our two referees, Mary Ann and Caroline Wanjala have also joined the Elite ‘A’ category. Previously, referees used to pay money to attend courses but we abolished these allowing more of them to be trained,” he said.
Kirwa said the number of men elite referees has also gone up to three with Peter Waweru, Gilbert Cheruiyot and Davies Omweno joining the club.
“Locally, we have seen very young referees coming up and now majority of those handling the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) are between 24 and 33 years. This means that they have another 15 years at the top,” he said.
“The courses have been quite helpful and our referees have benefitted a lot. Even referees at the grassroots level have benefitted from the new changes,” said Richard Obare, a member of the referee’s committee.
Margret Omondi, a Fifa instructor, noted that she is happy that a number of women referees are now officiating in the KPL.
“Before that, we had just a few women at the top. But now there is no difference as more and more women are handling the KPL. Furthermore, men and women are getting an equal number of matches,” she said.