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THE TOUCHLINE COLUMN

The local football scene needs a total shake-up

Indeed, the local football scene needs a total overhaul to put it back on track. Heads have begun to roll but a lot more sacrifices ought to be made going forward — of course, devoid of vested interests and any other accompanying shenanigans.

In Summary

•Was Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed right to poke her nose into the Football Kenya Federation business, so to speak? The opinion is sharply divided to that end.

•November was particularly quite chaotic, with the local football governing body being caught up in an ugly spat with the government, leading to its ultimate disbandment and the subsequent formation of the FKF caretaker committee.

Gor Mahia's Yusuf Mainge, Peter Lwasa, Boniface Omondi and Benson Omalla.
Gor Mahia's Yusuf Mainge, Peter Lwasa, Boniface Omondi and Benson Omalla.
Image: FILE

The future doesn't augur well for Kenyan football and there is nothing left to inspire anyone to take up a career in the sport, at least locally.

From protracted battles roping in key stakeholders in the industry to torrid performances of national teams and clubs flying the country's flag at the international stage — there is really nothing to smile about.

Gor Mahia and Tusker's early exit from the Caf Confederations Cup at the playoffs stage highlights the series of disappointments local football fans have now become accustomed to.

The last time we caused ripples in the international waters was in 1987 when Gor Mahia clinched the Africa Cup Winner Cup (Mandela Cup). 

Gone are the sweet old days when Kenyan football shone in the region and local luminaries slightly fell short of the glory usually associated with the deities.

As we speak today, no sets of crowds in any given local football match can match those pulled by political rallies as was the case in yesteryears when some matches such as the Mashemeji Derby still had the capacity to rock.

Nobody really knows what has befallen the country's status in the world's most cherished sport.

Could I be the only one left rooting for Kenyan football? The state of the sport in the country hasn't made my work and that of other ardent Kenyan Premier League fans any easier.

And it is becoming increasingly painful to watch a mass exodus of local football enthusiasts who are gradually shifting allegiance to foreign leagues.

Forget about the noisy lot who have never displayed any interest in Kenyan football all along and can't give you the right directions to a single local sports facility or, even worse, can't mention a single local top-flight player.

The genuine fans who have decided to sever links with local competitions and leagues have cited a number of reasons, including being treated to some drab matches as well as endless pockets of hooliganism in the stadia. 

The performance of the men's national team, in particular, has sent the entire country berserk and if there is anything that would deserve disbandment at this moment in time, then it would be the Harambee Stars.

A high turnover of coaches and constant reshuffling of the playing unit hasn't made things any better.

Was Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed right to poke her nose into the Football Kenya Federation business, so to speak? The opinion is sharply divided to that end.

Ask me though and I'll tell you it was the best decision she ever made since she took up the docket. Sheer arrogance had taken over the premises of Kandanda House, and the Nick Mwendwa-led administration had openly declared total war on all and sundry, including members of the fourth estate.

November was particularly quite chaotic, with the local football governing body being caught up in an ugly spat with the government, leading to its ultimate disbandment and the subsequent formation of the FKF caretaker committee.

Indeed, the local football scene needs a total overhaul to put it back on track. Heads have begun to roll but a lot more sacrifices ought to be made going forward — of course, devoid of vested interests and any other accompanying shenanigans.