Nick Mwendwa’s election as Football Kenya Federation president was met with jubilation and enthusiasm from various stakeholders across the country, with most Kenyans expressing optimism that he will change the state of football in the country.
In his first public address since he was announced winner, Mwendwa thanked his supporters for standing by him in the elections, before highlighting his immediate plans for Kenyan football.
He spoke prominently about the constitution and management of the Kenyan Premier League and for the first time, openly declared his support for an 18-league system.
Mwendwa pointed out to an existing memorandum between the federation and the league managers indicating that Kenya is meant to have an 18-team top flight league as opposed to the current 16-team league.
If that would happen this year, his Kariobangi Sharks team would join the national league, but he was quick to point out that this was not his motivation.
“As for the premier league, I am for 18 teams. I know that the timing may be a little unfavourable but it is an issue that we have to discuss with KPL.
We want to accommodate everybody who is involved with sports management, and I will meet the KPL chairman in a day’s time to chart a way forward.
We must change the way things are done in this country,” he said.
Mwendwa also plans to move the FKF secretariat from its current Nyayo National Stadium base to the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani, and promised to reconstitute the secretariat personnel in due time.
“Nobody has been fired. All operations will remain as they are for now, and FKF staff will remain in their various capacities.
Once the transition is complete however, the work of reconstituting the secretariat will begin,” he said.
Mwendwa steered clear of questions about whether or not he will relinquish his current position as chairman of Kariobangi Sharks, and he told Daily Nation Sports that he will make that decision in due time.
“To be honest I haven’t made that decision yet. I was concentrating more on conducting a successful campaign but I guess now that we are here, I will have to make a decision. That shall be communicated to you soon,” he said.
Mwendwa garnered 50 out of a possible 77 votes to win the FKF national elections staged on Wednesday at the Safaricom Stadium Indoor Arena, flooring KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier who garnered the remaining 27 votes.
His running mate Doris Petra became the first ever woman to be elected as vice president in the federation’s history.