The current financial difficulties facing AFC Leopards and arch rivals Gor Mahia could soon be a thing of the past following the passage of a bill in Parliament asking the government to finance community clubs that have been in existence for 20 years.
Nominated MP, Godfrey Osotsi of Amani National Congress Party (ANC) sponsored the bill that will also see all the 290 constituencies in the country have sports academies.
In the bill now awaiting implementation by the Sports and Heritage Ministry, the ANC legislator, who is also a life member of AFC Leopards SC, the government will establish sports academies in every constituency to help in scouting and nurturing talent; with the venture likely to be extended to the ward level.
This bill in a great way will enable Kenya thrive and even achieve our long dream of playing in the World Cup finals and put an end to the financial difficulties facing community clubs that have contributed to improving football in the country.
Osotsi, who is also the Secretary General of ANC, presented the bill after discovering the socio-economic benefits of sport, recognising that sports can make great positive economic, health, social and cultural impacts on individuals, communities and wider society.
Apart from being a major source of employment and foreign exchange earner in Kenya, he said the central government-funded academies will have the potential to improve the country’s economy on large scale if well harnessed.
Discipline has deeply remained low due to, among others things, inadequate investments, scouting and nurturing of talent and help in managing challenges facing our youths today; and the government must look for mechanisms of helping the community clubs in all sports.
By supporting these clubs, jobs will be created and crime will reduce, our clubs and the national teams will be stronger.
The country will witness the revival of famous community clubs including Re-Union, Kakamega United that have since been relegated to lower divisions.
Osotsi’s fellow lawmakers should make time and visit their villages as a bench-marking exercise, to see the rich talents available, and ask themselves why Kenya can’t produce a strong national football team
If such academies are put in place, Kenya will identify many talents. Our youths have different talents, but if Kenya is compared with the other countries, these talents are been wasted we need such academies to bring out the best in our youths.