Football is by far the most popular sport in Kenya. Rugby may be a distant second or third. However while football suffers from an acute and permanent lack of funds, Rugby is generally well funded. The national teams are very well sponsored and the numerous weekly and annual tournaments held by the Kenya Rugby Football Union each have a sponsor. In fact sponsors are literally lining up to be associated with Kenya rugby. The sponsorship from Kenya Airways alone is worth Ksh 400 million.
How is it that Football which is at least 20 times more popular than rugby struggles to gain sponsorship while rugby does not ?
The answer is simple : There is a perception of corruption and impropriety at KFF such that few sponsors are willing to fund Kenya football activities lest they be seen as abetting corruption.
Sam Nyamweya came into the KFF already having the reputation of a charlatan who is very adept at making money disappear. So from the very beginning, sponsors were leery of being associated with him. He has not done anything to improve his reputation. In fact he has worsened it.
He has sought to eliminate any FKF member who stood in his way. Sammy Shollei, Dan Shikanda, Tom Alila and most recently Hussein Terry have all been removed from FKF. Yet these are the very people with reformist credentials. Their presence would have lent some credibility to FKF amongst sponsors.
Meanwhile Nyamweya continues to make money disappear at an alarming rate. According to Hussein Terry, the audits that FKF conducted are a sham. No real audit has happened at FKF since Nyamweya took over.
During the world cup qualifier against Nigeria, Nyamweya launched an initiative called “Mbao for Bao” in which he asked the public to contribute their hard earned money to the national team. He even recruited former national team players like Mahmoud Abbas and Austin Oduor to promote the initiative. It however fell flat on its face for the simple reason that hardly anyone trusts FKF.
Since Nyamweya has decided to remove hard working and forward thinking individuals like Shollei, he now left only with incompetent sycophants. Their incompetency culminated in the Kenya girls U17 team failing to travel to Guinea for a world cup qualifier. The official reason given by FKF was that there was no communication from their Guinean hosts. The truth however was that FKF incompetence resulted in players applying for passports too late.
There will not me much help coming Kenya’s way since the root of all corruption is right at FIFA led by the ultimate charlatan Sepp Blatter. It is for this reason that the Kenya government can only sit by and watch as Nyamweya ruins the aspirations of Kenyan youth. Not that Hassan Wario has even tried.
|Kenya Football Page|