NICKubaya: Back to The Circus…
The week that was had all the ingredients of a football nation headed to the dogs.
It started in the corridors of justice. This month, the political side of the country has spent a chunk of its time in court and on matters legal, and it was only fair that the football side too of the country gets served its fair share. Indeed, we were served in proper portions, with the High Court ruling that the 18-team Kenya Premier League as constituted was illegal.
We thought that Justice John Mativo had dropped the hammer, but not yet. He went on to quash the FIFA/CAF club licensing requirements adopted by the Federation and further ordered FKF to respect a mutually agreed 16-team league contract signed by petitioner Sam Nyamweya (former FKF Chair) and KPL for the period between 2017 and 2020. Boom!
What a time it must have been for the Nick Mwendwa-led FKF. While the judge gave his orders, KPL immediately moved to boot out Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt from the league and throwing everything into chaos. A near state of anarchy. Teams preparing to face off each other were left to travel back home, the league standings changed, and celebrations erupted in some quarters. Anyone who failed to beat either or both of the two sides, was smiling all the way to the log sumit. Kakamega Homeboyz was now second, 6 points adrift Gor Mahia, and the title was a sniff away.
With KPL acting in a huff and dismissing two team, a questions lingers; Why the hurry to dismiss the Clubs? FKF immediately sought to appeal the decision. Well, we can now brace ourselves for another round in the courts. Unfortunately so.
However, as we await more serving from the courts, it’s unfortunate that the football stakeholders have once more decided to show their bravado and show us who is the boss. It’s a sorry state of affairs, as its the footballers who suffer. This is not the first time, in Nick Mwendwa’s tenure that this issue is befalling us. That is telling.
The Kenya football drama starring President Nick Mwendwa plays on. While the court was issuing its orders, FKF was preparing to fly out to Accra Ghana for the CAF meet, where among other issues, the football body was to deliberate on Kenya’s (in)ability to host CHAN 2018.
Since early this year, anyone who threw their brains out would be certain that Kenya was hosting CHAN next year. Anyone who engaged their sober senses, could beat their head that Kenya didn't have a snowball's chance in hell to host the event.
You don't need to have studied brain surgeon to know that the first basics for such an event were stadiums,which Kenya lack, and which the Government had a zero care factor about.Therefore, it was all PR gimmick when CHAN, FKF, Government and the Local Organizing Committee spent endless hours and resources in choreographed tours around the country in the name of inspection. At Least going by the CAF resolutions which read in part, “...With an OVERWHELMING majority of the members present, it was decided to withdraw the hosting rights of the competition from Kenya in the light of accumulated DELAYS..” The statement was clear.
Although President Nick had run his voice hoarse previously saying that he would resign if the tourney was taken away from Kenya, I don't expect him to. The Golden Rule in Kenya is: Don't resign - Get smoked out of office or die.
A new week is here, CHAN is gone and life moves on. No one has or will die because CHAN wasn’t hosted here..However, I hope the FKF President, the man we tasked with football development in Kenya, can sit all parties together and have the league issues sorted. Because if the don't, on this one, someone might die hungry...