It is the dream of every club to represent Kenya in international tournaments. Other than pride, prestige and honour, carrying the national flag in international football competitions, and excelling while at it, offers Kenyan players a bigger platform to showcase their talent.
This is why it’s worrying that half of the clubs in the top football league, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), shunned the domestic cup competition this year, the SportPesa Shield.
The other half that participated fielded second-string sides that went on to lose to clubs from the second-tier competition, the National Super League.
The winner of the tournament usually represents Kenya in the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Cup.
As at the quarter-finals on Sunday, all the premiership teams had been eliminated, with the exception of Bandari FC and the holders Kariobangi Sharks.
Whereas teams can’t be compelled to compete in the domestic cup, the absence of strong competition in the tournament denies Kenya a chance for good representation in the Confederation Cup.
Football Kenya Federation should seek ways of making the tournament more attractive. It can start by increasing the top prize from the current Sh2 million and coming up with a fixtures schedule that’s friendly to premiership clubs.
Having fewer KPL teams in the domestic cup waters down the quality of the competition, which denies Kenya a chance for strong representation at the continental level.