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Vet aspirants carefully and pick the best to run football

Monday January 13 2020

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa address journalists at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa address journalists at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

PHILIP ONYANGO
By PHILIP ONYANGO
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Elections play a fundamental role in democratic governance because they enable voters to select leaders whom they can hold accountable while in office.

But accountability can be undermined when elected leaders do not pull their weight to ensure they re-elected on merit. The requirement of leaders being subjected to regular and periodic elections helps to solve the problem of succession. This contributes a lot to sound leadership.

Moreover, where the electoral process is competitive, candidates must demonstrate their visions and track records for scrutiny. Elections serve as forums for public debate on key issues.

I will, therefore, base my article today on the upcoming Football Kenya Federation (FKF) polls with a caution to Coast voters to sober up and elect officials who will bring back our lost glory.

Campaigns are on for the Football Kenya Federation elections, which the international governing body Fifa wants done by end of March.

Lest you forget, it is your duty as voters to critically interrogate the officials seeking re-election before giving them the nod.

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For example, what have the interested candidates done in their last term to warrant re-election? What programmes have they initiated to help tap the rich talent in Coast region?

What pains me is that in the entire Coast region, there are no academies to help nurture talent.

A case in point is Abdalla Hassan, Bandari’s prodigy. After clearing high school at Green Palms Academy in Mombasa, he had to enrol at Uweza Academy in Nairobi before Bandari noticed his talent and brought him back to play for the team.

This has been the case with several talented Coast football players who turn to academies in Nairobi and beyond to hone their skills. They are then spotted by Bandari and other established clubs.

The million dollar question is how many more talents have gone to waste in the region due to lack of reputable academies and extensive grassroots programmes? The responsibility falls squarely with FKF.

To add insult to injury, the South Coast branch wound up the 2019 season without a women’s league, yet we had high standards in schools such as the 2018 East Africa Secondary Schools champions Kwale Girls, the 2016 national champions St John’s Kaloleni and Waa Girls.

Further more, the high-handedness, victimisation and witch-hunt by some South Coast branch officials resulted in a number of men’s clubs in Mombasa sub-branch boycotting the league and forming a parallel one.

With all this glaring management hiccups, it would be wise to scrutinise aspirants for FKF polls based on merit and past records.

Let’s stop the culture of handouts in the electoral process to avoid picking inept people to run the sport.

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