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Government should wake up from slumber and save Kenyan football

Monday October 14 2019

Daniel Sakari (left) of Kakamega Homeboyz and SoNy Sugar’s Michael Apudo vie for the ball during their SportPesa Premier League (SPL) match tat Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on May 22, 2019. PHOTO | TITUS MAERO |

Daniel Sakari (left) of Kakamega Homeboyz and SoNy Sugar’s Michael Apudo vie for the ball during their SportPesa Premier League (SPL) match tat Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on May 22, 2019. PHOTO | TITUS MAERO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

MOSES OJUANG'
By MOSES OJUANG'
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“May you live in interesting times!" That is an ancient Chinese curse. Interesting times are what we are witnessing in this year’s Kenyan Premier League.

The teams in the league have no money and there is no hope in sight; the tired phrase of light at the end of the tunnel is a mad man's joke and the KPL has no clue on what to do about it.

The government? Ministry of Sports? Football Kenya Federation? Don’t even think of those entities! Thinking about them can only hurt your brain dear Kenyan.

On Saturday when Eliud Kipchoge amazed the whole world by running the marathon at 1:59:40, politicians, including some unknown Members of County Assemblies were falling head over heels in love with the feat.

It was awesome! Even the Cabinet Secretary for Sports was sharing in the glory. They provided large TV screens for people to watch the historic run live. That is all they can do; reaping where they did not spend a dime, where they put no idea! They love that very much, and we expected them to bask in such glory. And they confirmed our expectations.

At the same time, Kakamega Homeboyz and six other teams have petitioned the KPL to put off the league until it gets cash. There was the case of Sony Sugar Football Club giving a walkover to AFC Leopards at home. They just could not afford it. The whisper is now loud and it sound like this: "Money…money…money."

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Such petty things cannot bother the great Ministry of Sports. It is beyond their ken. The stadiums in the country are rotting and are harbouring dangerous serpents; the referees have not been paid; players injured while on national duty are languishing in pain; many players are boycotting training since they have not been paid for months.

CHILDREN HUNGRY

Harambee Starlets beat Ghana even though their children are hungry in their neighbours houses since theirs have been locked by landlords. They have not been paid and we know they shall not be paid!

Can a country get lower than this? Why must we keep on pretending we are an organised nation? There is a favourite saying among Kenyans especially on social media and it goes like this: "Wakenya ni wajanja!" We are not! That saying is annoying. We are collectively very stupid people- and that includes me.

Will suspending the league help in any way? It will not! The problem is management and that requires trust. The league used to depend on sponsorship from Supersport.

We ruined that by making it an 18-team league when we had signed for a 16- team league. Later, the betting companies took over and then were chucked out by the knowitalls!

Now we are at the lowest ebb. The FKF elections are coming soon, and they are already attracting some rough beasts. They are strutting along to kill us even further. How low can we get?

It is time the government takes charge and fends off this strangulation of football in this country.

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