Kenya Football Federation – Officials from the Past to Present

We shall seek to understand the history of football management in Kenya. This sees a chronology of previous office holders and a brief history of the football game in Kenya. (Originally known as Kenya Football Association, it metamorphosised to Kenya Football Federation and is currently split between KFF and Football Kenya Limited  )


{Dislaimer: Some of the information may not be factual as some of the details are not provided and efforts were made to that effect without much success.}

The previous office holders are as follows:
1.Isaac Lugonzo 1963 :- One of the fathers of sport in Kenya who was instrumental in the setting up of clubs with Kenyan natives. He was elected into office as Kenya welcomed her independence but he would oscillate between this and the National Olympics Committee which was becoming more active and involving.

2. John Kasyoka 1964-70 :- Had a rather nondescript term in office but the emergence of top clubs like Gor Mahia and Nakuru FC would be some of the hallmarks of his reign.

3. Martin Shikuku 1970-72 :- Known more for his firebrand in politics, he managed the game for only two years, his term marked Kenya’s entry into the continental scene playing at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1972.
His office was disbanded after claims of corruption were raised.

4. Bill Martins, Williams Ngaah & Dan Owino 1972 -1974 :- B. Martins managed a caretaker committee before passing the buck to William & Dan respectively.

5. Kenneth Matiba – 1974-80 :- Credited with bringing in some form of business acumen into football management then after helping manage Kenya Breweries into a force to reckon with on the local . Under his reign Kenya won the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in 1975 along with 3 consecutive years 81-83. In his term, saw the rise of Kenyan clubs AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia and Kenya Breweries made an impact in continental club football. Youth development was also a hallmark of his term under German tactician Bernard Zgoll.

6.Clement Gachanja – 1981-84 :- He inherited a wealth of experience from Ken Matiba and didn’t disappoint either. Kenyan clubs continued dominating the regional scene and challenge for continental honours. Under his team’s term, Gor Mahia managed to win the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1987. The same year Kenya’s Harambee Stars settled for silver in the All-Africa Games held in Nairobi, managed by Reinherdt Fabisch as well as qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations for the 2nd time.

7. Joab Omino 1984-1991; 1993-1996:- Under his term, the ‘beautiful game‘ in Kenya started stuttering and encountering management problems. He’s known for the infamous term, “…coaches come in their dozens” after sacking arguably then Kenya’s most successful tactician R.Fabisch for criticising their style of handling the national team. The government of the day also started interfering with the game and disbanded Omino’s team indefinitely.
His second stint though was modestly successful after winning the bid to host Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 only for the Government to rescind on the claim of ‘lack of funds’.  Dismal performances from Kenyan clubs except for Kenya Breweries (now renamed Tusker FC) who came close in 1994 losing to DRC’s Motemo Pembe. Kenya also managed to have among its first professional footballers in the likes of Peter Dawo (who came from Gor Mahia to sign for Egypt’s Arab Contractors & Al Seeb in Oman); Mike Okoth ( Boshar in Oman then KV Oostende and Racing Genk in Belgium).

8. Adams Matthew Karauri 1991-92:– With Kenya qualifying in 1990 and 1992 consecutively, the Government put into place a caretaker committee headed by Mr. Karauri but that was all to write home about. The national team performed dismally in both occasions never getting past the first round (scoring only one goal courtesy of a Mickey Weche penalty in 1992 and soaking in 8 goals in total). The technical bench of the national team changed hands over 3 times in that period.

9. Peter Kenneth 1996-2000:- Taking the reigns in what would be one of the toughest times in Kenyan football after CAF banned the national team for 2 years for Kenya’s failure to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, he managed to avoid controversy that had riddled the game. This though was built on quicksand as would eventually manifest itself in Kenya’s non-qualification. Here the clubs would decline both at the local and regional level with nothing much to show for honours

9. Maina Kariuki 2001-2004:- He had one of the most promising campaigns of a present-day official but his term in office marked the genesis of the current problems in the local game both at national or international level. Consolation though is qualification to the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. This exposed Kenya’s talent to European scouts and the likes of Dennis Oliech secured signatures in Europe.
The Kenya Premier League was registered as private company under his tenure.

(Normalisation Committee under Kipchoge Keino between June – December 2004)

10. Alfred Sambu 2004- 2007:- He came in after football enthusiasts settled on his candidature in a view of having experienced hands in football management managing the national office. But right from the word go, his team was plagued by court cases, disagreements and boardroom wars. They were unceremoniously bundled out of office as the country braced for the controversial political elections.
The country was also banned indefinitely due to these battles but often these orders were rescinded.

11. Mohammed Hatimy 2007-2011:- Initially attempted throwing Sambu out of office but didn’t manage. He was suspended for 3 months in 2005 by FIFA operatives only to go back into their good books rather fast. After orchestrating a boardroom coup, this man and his minions have run the game with duress at every corner. From the splitting KFF and opening up shop at FKL ( Football Kenya Limited), to running under FIFA’s wings, this period has seen the country totter along rudderless.
Their only consolation is the blossoming Kenya Premier League which has seen the fans slowly stream back into the national stadiums and local clubs enjoy followership and lucrative corporate sponsorship. But let this not blind them as their success at all.
Most recently the country was bundled out of 2012 AFCON qualifiers and also had two of its best stadiums banned for non-compliance on security and crowd management issues.

Shall we find redemption after tomorrow’s elections? Pray Kenyan Football that we will!

SOURCES: Foul Play – The Crisis of Football Management in Kenya, Kenya Football Federation, Wikipedia and KenyaPage, KenyaFootball

Beyond 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, what next for Kenyan football?

Unless you were truly optimistic, Kenya’s non-qualification to the 2012 Africa of Nations did not come as a suprise. Even after last minute efforts by local football enthusiasts and political leaders offering  this and that package, Harambee Stars couldn’t push themselves to the final dash. So what next ?

Harambee Stars badgefrom CafePress.com

1. Football Elections – after the Kenyan electoral body IIEC came into agreement with Interim Election Board to conduct nationwide elections, this is the best shot to formally put Kenyan football structures back on the rails. Though it will be a heart-wrenching, tough act but as they say, ‘no pain, no gain‘. Let’s hope for fairly free and transparent process and no court actions by those who won’t make it after the ballot is done.

2. Fully dedicated technical team – in the last 2-3 years, there have been so many changes on the technical bench though the last one year has been more stable. But that stability has been fickle too since the head coach Zedekiah Otieno has been shuttling between club and national assignments. A last minute decision to include former international Musa Otieno seemed to help put some stability there. With a competent Management Board, the handlers SHOULD NOW recruit a substantive and full-time tactician. It is not a very demanding job as one Jose Mourinho would say but the role of constantly reviewing individual players and cobbling together a team every other month.

3. Sponsorship – There is a Management Board mandated to ‘sell the national team and seek corporate support’ among other things. Looking at the financial affairs of the national team, it is a disgrace by the current football administrators. From shirt sponsorship, to kit sponsors; training clinics, sale of media rights, international friendlies, there are areas of expanding revenue streams that NEED WORKING ON. Hoping a new and able team comes into office end of October, these are important things to note. Which brand kits our national team? No idea? I guessed so…

4. Stadium Management – though there is a Stadia Management Board, it would be important to have one of the national team’s own sitting in this Board. Why do you ask? Because as you would know we have very few venues that can host a national or international fixture worth noting. Even worse is the fact that our best bets at Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums are both under FIFA’s ban for hosting games because of security and logistical issues. Sort this out soonest or else we shall be playing ‘home games’ in our neighbours’ stadia (at OUR COST of course!)

5.League versus National fixtures – in the last 2 weeks we heard the national coach loudly vent his displeasure of why crucial Kenya Premier League games ought to be too close to an international game. It would be fair for both parties to synchronise their calendars to avoid such scenarios. Next year will be an more demanding one with the change of Africa Cup of Nations from even years to odd years( 2013) and 2014 World Cup qualifiers. We have CECAFA Cup coming up in Uganda by the end of November, let’s hope there’s no clash occasioned.

With these issues addressed, we shall be confident of putting our support fully for the national team as it represents our cause in the football and indeed in the sporting world. It is about time we got back our game…

Kenya v/s Uganda …Who has the last laugh?

If you are from the two neighbouring countries, by now you have heard and seen the hype around this game and in the next 24hours, we shall know who has the bragging rights. From planned bus-rides to Kampala to students studying the many higher learning institutions in the Uganda, this tie must be one of the biggest ever between the two countries in recent history.

There is much at stake for both countries and especially so for Kenya which had lorded over the other East African countries and qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations 5 times compared with Uganda’s 5 appearances (their performance has been better though finishing 2nd in 1978 behind Ghana) ; Tanzania and Rwanda have each qualified once previously.
But this Africa Cup of Nations qualifier carries not just the sporting side but some heavy political connotations given the diplomatic brush the two countries have had recently due to the Lake Victoria islands of Migingo and Ugingo as well as the bombings on July 2010 in Kampala ( after Al-Shabaab militia were said to have launched their attacks from Kenya and the ensuing renditions of Kenyan suspects). It has also been Uganda’s Pres. Yoweri Museveni toying with various Kenyan potential Presidential candidates as each tries to outdo the other in matters regional.

Back to the game though, recent history is clearly in favour of Uganda. They are the highest ranked country on the FIFA rankings at 76 compared to Kenya’s 133. The last 5 games between the two teams have seen Uganda win 4 and draw 1. And of course there is the 12th man advantage with the Ugandans sensing a return to continental glory since 1978 ( which was their best showing ever at 2nd place).

In our VERY HUMBLE OPINION, we would love to be patriotic and root for our team BUT in a way this is pushing our luck a bit too far. We have had such a mixed bag of performances in these qualifiers and this last game would have been avoided if Kenyan football authorities had made their arrangements once the games started. We have a fair share of professionals plying their trade in European leagues but that has never deterred other teams showing us how its done when it comes to wearing national colours (ask Guinea Bissau).
We have also national bodies running football at the mercies of some unscrupulous and incompetent national officials. With the national elections finally announced, we wait to see what comes of this long-awaited process.

And while we have been running all over like headless hens, our neighbours have sorted their national leagues and made much progress. What Kenyans saw in the first game against Uganda left many in shock at the level of co-ordination, passion and support from the highest offices in their land that the team had and continues to enjoy. Our Kenyan politicians have tried replicating this but albeit a bit late in the process. It would be good for Kenya’s Harambee Stars to miss the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations BUT start in earnest preparing for the 2013 one in South Africa as well as World Cup qualifiers in Brazil. It would also serve the new office (if elections come through on October 29th) to start a fresh slate to ensure there is a better strategy for the game in the country.

Qualifying for the 2012 AFCON would give us a false impression that all is good on our game and soon we’re back to business as usual. Let’s sort our domestic issues once and for all and seek a fresh page to write our footnotes in the game in the next one year. All the same, for those who make it to Kampala, enjoy the roast chicken, bananas and waragi from the ‘Pearl of Africa’ and AVOID any passions beyond the game’s. For you back in Kenya, the time is 1700hours on your national broadcaster KBC ( no confirmation yet from SuperSport)

Prediction: Uganda 3- Kenya 1

Kenyan Football – Of Elections, KPL & Cup of Nations qualifiers

The disconnect in the Kenyan football game has been playing on the scene for the better part of this week. Here are some of our pickings and thoughts about the same;

Elections Finally?

First the Interim Elections Board (IEB) confirmed receiving FIFA’s funds around $ 100,000 with the Kenyan Government also footing the balance with an almost equivalent amount of slightly over $ 100,000 ( cash and in kind from Kenya corporate organisations). This was after the Interim Independent Elections Commission ( IIEC) had forwarded their budget for conducting the long-awaited polls. These must be the most expensive polls conducted by any sports body in the country.
That FIFA asked the Kenyan Government to foot their part of the bill should now mean that FIFA should allow the Government and by extension the Kenyan people to ‘own the game’ more. These polls would have come a long time ago and sorted the Kenyan football game if we had the wherewithal to reprimand corrupt and inept sports officials like the circus we’ve had with FKL and KFF. And it is revealed the interest the game generates not just from officials both legit and those with selfish interests. The corporate world has also been waiting in the wings to come on board and sprinkle the game with some goodies.
KPL Fixtures & Disciplinary Action

It is true that the
2011 Premier League as run by KPL has been an interesting proposition and the evidence from the buzz the games have generated is there for all to see. The teams have also been enjoying favourable and growing fan-bases for their players and on and off pitch antics. The screening of the games too has helped make this one of the best up and coming leagues in the continent.
But a few concerns here for KPL, there has been an inconsistent approach to the making of fixtures.
The most scandalous was the Ulinzi FC games where the team had taken the East African (in Burundi) and World Military Games ( in Brazil) representing the COUNTRY. Instead of moving their games, the KPL docked them 6 points and this was after raising genuine reasons for the same.
Reverse this and take to the disciplinary side, we have seen some teams get of too easy with little or no reprimand even after their fans continue raising security concerns for the teams, referees and general public. Gor Mahia is the biggest culprit here and their fans have been involved in more than one altercation since the season started.
We have a grudge match of the same with AFC Leopards coming up and though both teams officials are assuring fans of their security, what we saw after they drew last weekend doesn’t make one feel too safe after all. Carry bare essentials I would say…
If the KPL officials are to be seen to be above board, such minuscule but significant decisions NEED be taken if we’re to retain order and discipline in our game now and in future.
Kenya v/s Uganda 8th October in Namboole

This is a significant fixture in Kenya’s national team’s assignments and if we shall hope to challenge for continental honours in 2013. But quickly back to KPL, why would you fix major games a week or so to the game?
It is true you are running a league where a select few of the players are picked from for national duty. But it puts our boys at cross-purpose when the game at national and international level is not given the importance it deserves. Many of the players are proud to wear the national colours but not when they know it might not earn them any win or prestige among their peers.
Back the Oct 8 fixture, we have seen a flurry of activity as we try to equal what Ugandan fans showed us last year in the first game for the Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Kenyan politicians and media houses have been asking Kenyans to get their travel bags, fancy red t-shirts to quite literally ‘paint Kampala and Nelson Mandela Stadium red‘.
Where’s the FKL or KFF in all this? Uganda’s football body FUFA managed to lobby politicians and companies to bankroll fans coming to Nairobi last year and most Kenyan fans were stunned at the sheer numbers and the seemingly better co-ordinated fans from our erstwhile neighbours.
We know you’re busy strategising for the upcoming elections and maybe the finances don’t look so good after the postponement of elections 3 times. Maybe you can pull a few strings and endear yourselves to the discerning Kenyan fans and delegates.
But this is another major failure by football officials from Kenya to promote and try to get fans to rally behind their national team. We need a football association that cares NOT about how well their pockets are lined but one which serves to promote our kind of game within and across the borders.
CECAFA is back with us in November, what shall Harambee Stars have to show for it?

What IAAF can teach FIFA

Coming after a successful World Championships at Daegu – South Korea, the world athletics body IAAF, can offer a lesson or two to the football world’s governing body. Though IAAF is not as big as the monolith that FIFA is, these two bodies run their respective independent disciplines overseeing what the national associations undertake among others. While one is more or less an individual sport, the other is a team sport with slightly more challenges in its running and management.

What can FIFA learn:
– Any sport federation/association is larger than a single individual – while FIFA has focused much of its day-to-day running to one individual or set of people, this has meant the focus has almost become more about the individual than the sport. It is true that the President ( oh how they love these titles) becomes the global ambassador of the sport but his word should not be law and the secrecy with which some his day-to-day management practices are only add more questions than there are answers.
In the IAAF, they have managed to demystify the organisation and no single individual is all-towering, all-powerful to overshadow it.

– Commercialise but don’t be greedy – the level at which each of the sport operates have been succesful largely due to the adoption of commercial aspects in the 1970s (for FIFA) and 1980s (for IAAF). These have seen the organisations stage some of the most successful events in recent across the world to varied audiences all the while meant to appeal to a wider global audience. But this commercialisation should NOT be on over-kill. Sample this, over the last 2 World Cups, FIFA has made profits much to the chagrin of the host nations who are left with infrastructure that they either don’t need or use and much-maligned governments who go all out to deliver the goods but neglect their citizenry. IAAF on the other hand has seen most of its events held with modest budgets and less of a strain to most of the host nations. This is from the World Cross-Country to the World Athletics Championships.

– Do not micro-manage national federations , and they should be open to dissolution or otherwise – FIFA’s national bodies across the world run like semi-autonomous bodies with little interference from the national governments of the day. This maybe a boon or a bad idea from whichever side you want to view it. Classic case, look at Kenya. We have a vibrant football culture but the game is almost dead at national level. Compare that with their athletics counterparts…most of this is repeated in other developing economies.

– Where there is smoke , there is fire – corruption claims have almost always riddled sport and both disciplines are no exception. But while FIFA dithers and seeks to bury their dirt under the carpet, IAAF has dealt with such claims rather swiftly. Once a claim is made of a corrupt official, they are asked to step aside with little or no fuss. Look at the ruckus that accompanied the departure of football officials in the names of Jack Warner and Mohammed bin Hamamm for FIFA? And you can be sure this is not the last you are hearing of either…

With these few tid-bits, sports associations should know that sport is universal and while commercial interests have pervaded most sporting disciplines, let’s not forget to enjoy running the sport for the greater good of those who participate and earn from it. The world should be entertained and wowed by sport NOT turned off and wondering what might have happened.

Kshs. 110million for Harambee Stars – Too Little Too Late?

The sceptics in us always bring out the other side of the story. We applaud the efforts the Government through the Harambee Stars Management Board is engaging in. Yesterday they managed to secure KShs. 110 million 3-year sponsorship if the Premier is to be believed from the EABL – one of the region’s most profitable companies.
(Image courtesy of www.cafepress.com)

All good thus far, but why did we have to wait till when we’re hanging on the edge of the cliff where the national team is threatened with elimination from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)?
Well, one can argue that our football authorities (or non-existence of the same) have never had any agenda for the national team. The dismal crowd that showed up for the Kenya v/s Guinea Bissau game is clear testimony ( the crowd watching the KPL’s Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards attracted almost three times the number…).

  • OK post 2012, we have the 2013 AFCON to think about. This was occasioned by the concern that having this continental championship along with the World Cup in the same year sort of drains the players from the continent who have to play for their national teams. The whole commercialisation aspect for FIFA also played into the hands of CAF officials having not option than to change this to an odd year tournament.
  • Thus the 2014 World Cup qualifiers come into play too.
  • Such stop-gap measures that we have often adopted for the national team need be a thing of the past. Does it have to take Government officials to rescue the team when we ought to have a federation pitching their case to the Kenyan corporate firms?
  • We have a shirt deal which was never made public and the ever-changing colour of the strip makes such a hard-buy for fans willing to don these during national team fixtures. Shouldn’t it be considered as one of the revenue streams for the national team kitty?
  • Can we also engage a full-time national coach? Not that we’re against Zedekiah Otieno but managing one of the top ( and more demanding) teams in the KPL and the national team is no walk in the park. Having Musa Otieno as an assistant coach was a smart move but can we transition fast and either give him the job or decide to recruit a proper tactician for Harambee Stars?
  • We may also need to decide who runs the national team, the Management Board, KPL or FKL…whichever body feels sufficiently able should be left to handle the team with little interference.

All we shall be doing is ruing missed chances which we ought to have taken from the word go. Let’s hope our boys came find the magic to outplay and outmanoeuvre Uganda Cranes at their hunting backyard. After October let’s compare notes…

{Talking of which when the HELL are the Kenyan Football Elections??? We’re tired of shifting goal-posts, changing dates to suit some candidates and all those shenanigans…have a bad feeling about the whole process or the charade that it might be}

AFC Leopards v/s Gor Mahia – Kenya’s Celebrated Football Derby

This football derby never ceases to excite the slightest of football enthusiast in the country. You can even ask SuperSport which bulked from the pressure of these old foes. Ironically the two teams fans have been some of more indisciplined ones in the Kenya Premier League in the 2011 season.
Well another lingering issue was the postponement of the game twice once due to the Super 8 games and the second due to the rugby game featuring Zimbabwe and Kenya at the Nyayo National Stadium. It was also a blessing in disguise for the teams since now they both get a chance to woe their ardent fans & potential ones back to the stadiums.
It has been a mixed bag again with both teams not performing to their bet and AFC Leopards suffering more and currently languishing in 12th position while Gor Mahia lies mid-table at 5th position. A win for Gor would place them at 3rd while a win for Leopards would jump them to 8th position.
All the same, it will be another of the major highlights of a sporting fan’s weekend. Make way to your nearest G4S centre and buy your ticket. The security concerns and the logistics in place are to ensure there is no repeat of a stampede or fracas of any kind.
May the best team win!

Football : KFF & FIFA-Let’s not have the charade

The world of football was treated to some very interesting times in May and the run-up to the 1st June at the behemoth that is FIFA. Sepp Blatter fighting ( well not that the only other candidate Mohammed bin Hammamm) for the top post for a fourth consecutive term really opened up a can of worms and somehow wiggle himself free to emerge as the only candidate and win this post till 2015.
Well while he may want to wish away the whole charade whether the claims against Jack Warner and Mohammed bin Hammamm are proved or not; there is going to be lots of ín-house cleaning and PR as well as trying to keep the two gagged for the next couple of years if FIFA is to hold its own. Some disquiet has come from some of the major sponsors but nothing serious yet ( some had argued that they would withdraw their 2014,2018 and 2022 tournaments…)
Back to Kenyan football, we had our joke of a football official from FKL representing Kenya’s vote. Hoping they do not want to replicate a similar situation, it is about time the Independent Elections Board announced a date for the elections which are now becoming quite an obstacle for the local scene.
The whole scenario is not helped by the fact that the IEB seems to be reading from FIFA’s script and had to wait for the elections of the highest office to end before making any move. For the interests of our country and for us to save face, please do not let the fiefdoms from FIFA trickle down to our levels. Mr. Paul Otuoma kindly hold forte for the people of Kenya and if we shall be suspended for your cobbled coalition Government coming to our rescue then let be it.
IEB announce a date and save us all this hassle, let the best man win!

African Football Executive Summit – A First of its Kind !

African Football Executive Summit

This premiere event is scheduled to be held in Accra, Ghana from 26th-27th May 2011. The theme is ’21st Century Marketing Strategies, Branding and Leadership for the Development of the Game on the African Continent’.
The organisers, Pinnacle Group (UK & Ghana) in association with the Chartered Institute of Marketing-Ghana are hoping to address good effective leadership and innovative marketing solutions to the African football game. These two can then be harnessed to become a catalyst for sustained development to achieve immense potential in a football and economic sense as has been achieved elsewhere in the world.
For more details check their link here. Wonder who will represent Kenya in this ground-breaking event…

Kenyan Football Elections – a Sneak Preview of Top Contenders

As we wait for the election date for Kenyan football elections, we have been looking at some of the prospective candidates and their chances at the top office. Gathering info from both online and offline sources, we have the following review;
HUSSEIN MOHAMMED
Hussein Mohammed – courtesy of www.husseinmohammed.com

He’s easily the most visible candidate for the top post and is also ‘well-greased’. Having cut his teeth through a sports business organisation Extreme Sports Limited, he is a darling of the media and is well-connected and networked both in the corporate and political world.
Strengths:
  • His involvement in the world of football is without doubt. The success of the Super 8 tournament has ensured he has a head-start in terms of hands-on experience of organising anything football
  • Corporate connections – securing sponsorship in Kenyan for sports’ is not the easiest of tasks. Being in a game riddled with corruption and under-cutting is also not easy, but he has made it possible though not with direct involvement of the footballing bodies of Football Kenya, KFF or KPL. He also has also regularly made valued contributions to the footballing causes and youth affairs.
  • Age – this is double-edged. While an advantage, endearing him to the youth, it might also be his Achilles heel –which the Independent Election Board statutes had almost knocked him out but was later rescinded. It might also be used by his antagonists to portray him as greenhorn at the top.
  • Smart Use of Media – he is the first candidate to start using social media; check his website here, engaging media outlets every so often and enjoying favourable coverage from the same. This ensures he can harness the same in case of his successful election. An elaborate launch to his campaign ensured the media has had more than enough fodder to feed on and seem to hang onto his every word.
  • Fresh pair of hands- it favours him that the footballing fraternity in Kenya hopes to see a pair of new hands.
Weaknesses:
  • Age – this keeps surfacing every now and then. He has kept answering back his critics and is trying to treat it as a non-issue.
  • Politics – his prior and perceived involvement in Kenya’s political world has had some murmurings saying he is not in the good books of the party sponsoring him to a local civil seat. This has not featured prominently yet but might serve as fodder for the rumour mills dimming his stellar streak.
  • Lack of Football heritage – some former players have been pushing for one of their own to run the top office and him not having made it to any club worth mentioning or representing the country at both club or national team level clearly makes this a drawback.
  • Over-promising – there was one Maina Kariuki in the early 2000s that made such a convincing pitch that it looked like we finally had an able hand to run the game. He was from the corporate world, and it was assumed he had the right credentials; does it sound familiar? His legacy is one of the worst offices to have run KFF in recent history.

SAM SHOLLEI
Sam Shollei – image courtesy of michezoafrika.com
He was among the first to throw in the hat once the elections were announced. He was a former player having done duty with Kenya Breweries in the 1990s and also got capped for national duty. He currently holds forte at a local IT firm and is a fairly successful businessman.
Strengths:
  • Football history – his involvement in the game is surely helping his case. Many in the footballing world feel it is time a former player held the top office. Taking examples from the likes of Kalusha Bwalya and Michel Platini – current Presidents of Football of Zambia Association and UEFA both of whom were former players too, he hopes to emulate these for the Kenyan scene.
  • Corporate world involvement – His running the IT firm has helped him work his resume well. A typical Kenyan former football player (sorry to say!) is not the most admirable or well-versed of business managers. This is working to his advantage.
  • Local Football Club Associations – he has been working his ‘magic’ towards the football clubs who might influence some of the votes at the national elections.
  • Use of media- though a slightly later option, he is also using both online and offline visibility to run his campaign – check his campaign link here. He has not quite endeared himself to the media outlets but comes in 2nd in terms of coverage by print, TV and radio. He made a brief entry into online journalism writing for a local footballing site, check a sample piece here.
  • Age – he is not considered too young or too old and his age has not featured as an issue.
  • Fresh pair of hands – as Mohammed above, he is a new face in the game and analysts give him a safe bet.

Weaknesses:
  • Lack of Football Management Skills – he has not managed relating to football and this is a major disadvantage to his candidature.
  • Banking on Foregone Player Status – given that he is milking on this alone to help him run for office, his career some say was not the most sterling and at times was considered a peripheral player. What will happen once in office?
  • Corporate World & Football Politics – just like Mohammed, though a success story in the corporate world, the football politics represent a different ball game; one where dirtying of hands every so often is required.
  • Aloofness – some critics have had it that he is aloof to lower rung bodies and clubs where he is said to have little time for.

SAM NYAMWEYA
He has been in and out of the footballing world for the last 20 years. In terms of experience,he easily beats all the contenders but his terms have been dogged by claims of corruption and malpractices; from KFF, CECAFA and is currently said to masquerade with the Posta Rangers Club, recently promoted to the Kenya Premier League as their Chief Marketing Officer or something to that effect. He was ‘elected’ into office at KFF after declaring that Football Kenya Limited could not run Kenyan football as a registered company.
Sam Nyamweya – courtesy of kenyafootie.com
Strengths:
  • Experience – he has been in the game for over 20 years. From the Secretary General in the KFF team led by Maina Kariuki to the stint at CECAFA, he has held influential positions.

Weaknesses:
  • Corruption & malpractices – his tenures at the different positions he’s held have almost always led to some scandal of sorts. Loss of prize money while at the CECAFA office for the club championships; 3 bans for the country while at KFF as well as loss of gate revenues for clubs and national team; personal bankruptcy charges and questionable political dealings have been on his name for the longest time.
  • Lack of media goodwill- his prior engagements have meant that he has a questionable past which the media touches on every so often. He has also not bothered to endear himself to the online and social media world.
  • Lack of major achievements – Been there, not-done-it – his record do not strike any major achievements thus the need for a new face which he is clearly not.
  • Lack of vision – enough said.
  • Political circus – his entreaties to politics have seen him try a hand and miserably fail. Many analysts question how he has managed to survive given the high cost of political activities which usually cause many to bury their fortunes.

MOHAMMED HATIMY
Currently heading Football Kenya, he has thrown in his hat hoping for a sympathy vote to continue with the beleaguered tenure. His has been a rough patch with mixed fortunes but teetering on the negative side more than the success.
Mohamed Hatimy – courtesy of www.standardmedia.co.ke
Strengths:
  • Kenya Premier League – it is under his tenure that the KPL secured a major sponsorship with SuperSport which was a landmark and is slowly changing the face of Kenyan football.
  • Highest Ranking – it was also in his tenure that the national team achieved its highest ever FIFA ranking at 68th place across the globe.Again a team effort but of course happening under him.
  • Status Quo – for those out to retain the status quo, this is the man for the job.
Weaknesses:
  • Corruption, malpractices & boardroom coups – just like his former ally Sam Nyamweya, his legacy has been plagued by corruption and court cases, keeping busy to effectively run office (in fact this had knocked him out of the running on the pending court case technicality).
  • Lack of Vision – just as Sam above, he has never quite communicated his vision for the local game, not while taking over through the back-door or even trying to give something in the guise of a vision.
  • Old v/s New – having been in office under a cloud of controversy, he is one of those who are disadvantaged to have served rather (…disgracefully too).
  • Not media savvy – having the yoke of controversy around your neck means the media is never going to be your best friend.  

NICHOLAS MUSONYE
He is strolls across the region slowly becoming a colossus of sorts in CECAFA. Working with struggling football associations, he has somehow managed to convince Government big-shots and companies in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan to fall into place to ensure the club and national championships are held annually.
Nicholas Musonye – www.michezoafrika.com
Strengths:
  • Proven Track Record – his posting at CECAFA has been a major success for the body with the club and national championships; securing sponsorships year-in year-out and often going out on a limb to lambast national officials not too keen to work their part but quick to put their hands in the cookie jar; his tenure is admirable.
  • Media savvy – having worked in the media previously, he is always calling on them to articulate matters football in the region. He also throws in his two cents on situations in individual countries’ football associations and governments but is careful enough not to rub them the wrong way. True media darling!
  • Well ‘networked’- having contacts in high office of some of the major corporate organizations in the region, he can muster sponsorships even when all else seem to have given up. This can serve him well in enticing more corporates into the game locally. He’s also well-connected at the continental level.
Weaknesses
  • Timing – if he does declare candidature, his will be a late announcement and not having enough time to muster support from the delegates
  • Lack of Vision – back to the first point, with little timing, even the best of visions cannot be communicated that well.
  • One-man show- some critiques have often referred to Nicholas as a bit of a one-man show who is not too open to team participation. That might be a personality issue to some who feel the game is too big for one individual.

These are the main contenders and we have the favourites as Hussein Mohammed and
Sam Shollei and the rank outsider being Nicholas Musonye (in case he throws in his hat). The current scenario almost favours the incumbent for now and maybe that’s what they are hoping to play with. There is also the delegates bit which the candidates have to overcome.
We have also been toying with the idea of Hussein and Shollei deciding to be one or the other’s running mate and they would make a formidable team. Hatimy and Nyamweya have already made entreaties to each other and let’s see what happens before the day. For all with hope for the game in the country, a new office would be the best gift for us and the sport. But we have been this way all too often only for our hopes to be dashed. Independent Election Board, over to you!