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FKF, clear the air on OB van and players’ wages

Monday October 14 2019

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa (left) appoints Barry Otieno as the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Kandanda House on July 22, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa (left) appoints Barry Otieno as the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Kandanda House on July 22, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

TOM OSANJO
By TOM OSANJO
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On January 2, 2016, I had a request from two editors of this newspaper Dennis Galava and Allan Buluku. The two gentlemen requested me to do a piece on the then looming Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections.

The brief was simple - Kenyan football had gone to the dogs and there was need for a new broom at the headquarters to right the many wrongs.

In the two-page piece, I argued that the then FKF boss Sam Nyamweya and his gang were beyond salvage and that the only way out was for a new team to lead our country’s football to even greater heights.

With the self-righteousness of one seeking far-reaching reforms, I thundered: Borrowing from the late (former vice president Kijana) Wamalwa, I can confidently posit that the president (what an elevated title!) of Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Samson Keengu Nyamweya, aka Sam Nyamweya, cannot lead a decent football body anywhere in the world.

There is no better way to describe this second tour of duty by Nyamweya as the country’s top football honcho than that he has been a spectacular failure.”

It was a piece that did not go down well with Nyamweya and some of his supporters accused me of writing to prop up the candidacy of Gor Mahia chairman, Ambrose Rachier, who was angling to depose Nyamweya.

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Through a mutual friend I managed to talk to Nyamweya and convinced him that I was nobody’s gun for hire.

Interestingly, those supporting Nick Mwendwa for the post were almost ecstatic when they read the article. In their opinion, I was in a way endorsing Mwendwa’s candidacy. Time came and passed and Mwendwa bagged the seat.

The elephant in the room is, has Mwendwa kept the promise? I highly doubt. Unpaid players allowances, running to the government with a begging bowl whenever our national teams have an international assignment, among other litany of woes, continue to grace our news headlines. Just as before.
A quick visit to the Fifa website reveals that FKF is well-funded. The question is, where is the money Bwana Mwendwa? Latest reports of the women’s team going without allowances is a path we have travelled before.

However, most worrying is the damning report carried by this newspaper this past weekend detailing how a multi-million shilling Outside Broadcasting van that was supposed to be put in use by the federation has simply evaporated.
It is comforting that Fifa has expressed interest in finding out what exactly happened. However, their query adds a twist to the tale in that the world football governing body is not talking about one van but vans, meaning we could be talking two or three vans.

Just as it should be. In a country where government projects are paid for and nothing can be shown for it, it gladdens the heart that there are some people somewhere who are keen on knowing how their money has been spent.

I am not accusing FKF of any wrongdoing because as I have said before the currency of our business as journalists is facts and, so far, I have no fact of money stolen or misplaced.

But two questions stick as a sore thumb- where is the money for our girls’ allowances and where is the van? A simple answer to these two questions will make many of us rest easy.

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