As national football teams struggle to get sponsorship to honour international assignments and established local clubs fail to raise air tickets to play in major continental assignments, the government is now forced to grapple even with club affairs, even though the law does not permit it.
It had to step in to rescue national champions Gor Mahia to honour their return Caf Confederation Cup play-off fixture against DC Motema Pembe in Kinshasa last evening. Gor drew 1-1 with the Congolese side last Sunday at Kasarani.
Well, the Ministry of Sports has the responsibility and moral obligation to step in for the national teams, as the law requires, when it comes to international assignment.
Clubs’ international responsibilities, however, squarely lie with the teams’ management.
Gor is one of the oldest clubs in the region. It is, therefore, embarrassing that up to this time the club, and most of their rivals like AFC Leopards, survive on begging and fundraising.
Just when will the two clubs with the biggest following in the country put in place machinery to attract sustainable sponsors?
The management of local clubs should be overhauled to inject professionalism into the system.
That should start with the election into office of credible and honest people to avoid the frequent leadership wrangles that have bedevilled the clubs.
The local leagues lack the quality required to attract the masses back to the stadium. The enthusiasts of Kenyan football are yearning for quality.
With the kind of a turnout witnessed during the friendly between Kariobangi Sharks and English Premier League side Everton in July, there is no way clubs will lack funds.
The government should invest in facilities and personnel in all sports disciplines if the country is to promote their development.