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Cheap local politics threat to Bandari’s imminent glory

Monday September 23 2019

Kenya Ports Authority MD Dr. Daniel Manduku (left) fetes Bandari striker Yema Mwama (right) when he met the team in Mombasa on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODITI |

Kenya Ports Authority MD Dr Daniel Manduku (left) fetes Bandari striker Yema Mwama (right) when he met the team in Mombasa on September 18, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODITI |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

PHILIP ONYANGO
By PHILIP ONYANGO
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My heart is bleeding for Bandari Football club if the chorus that greeted the teams 2-0 victory over US Ben Guerdane of Tunisia could be a pointer of what awaits the team ahead.

While all of us were on top of the moon following the win that saw the team place one foot in the Caf Confederations Cup group stages, a number of fans and some administrators from Coast took the opportunity to seek relevance with some statements that if not checked will divide the team right in the middle.

My mind is still very clear on the circumstances that led to the relegation and subsequent dissolution of some of Coast’s top clubs in recent times among them Alaskan FC of Malindi, Mombasa Heroes, and Coast Stars.

The same factors saw Bandari relegated twice from the country’s top league with the last drop coming in 2013, thus the reason why I would wish that Bandari does not take that route.

Bandari’s success against the Tunisian side coincided with the appointment of former Football Kenya Federation vice chairman Twaha Mbarak as a member of Bandari FC board of trustees and this sent fans into a frenzy.

Given, the younger Mbarak just like his elder brother Ali Mbarak is a great performer and can stop at nothing in supporting the team to seek greater heights, even if it means digging into his deep pockets.

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But for some fans to insinuate that his appointment was one step towards ensuring the Coast community have control of Bandari is misplaced.

That one sitting FKF administrator went on national television to congratulate coach Bernard Mwalala for the team’s success but at the same time poured cold water on the teams board of management is sad and unacceptable.

Upon his appointment, Mbarak was quick to give a thumbs up to the Bandari board headed by chairman Muse Hassan and Chief Executive Officer Edward Oduor saying the two have achieved much with the club. According to him, there is little or nothing that he will do to the team that the board has not done and promised to fully support and work with them.

But some fans in their shallow thinking believe it’s the time to start politics in the team and even throw out non-natives from the team's board of management and technical bench.

Mbarak is and remains a national figure and would clearly not entertain any action that would jeopardise the teams chances of success. He has called on all and sundry to throw their weight behind the team especially at this crucial time.

The good news is that both Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku who doubles up and Bandari patron and Mbarak have promised to travel to Tunisia for next Sunday's decisive second leg.

It is therefore my humble appeal that we put our personal interest in Bandari Football club aside and work on a common goal of ensuring that the team not only succeeds at continental stage but also win for the Coast region the elusive Premier League title.

What I'm saying in short is that politics should be kept very far from Bandari.

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