Govt to intervene over football mess

By francis marangu
Aug 06, 2014
  • Adel Amrouche was banned by Caf for one year. He has been replaced by Bobby Williamson, a Gor Mahia coach.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF), could land in trouble when the Ministry of Sports formally reacts to the saga surrounding elimination of Harambee Stars from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

When Harambee Stars were knocked out by Lesotho on a 1-0 aggregate score at the weekend, FKF immediately reacted by sacking the entire technical bench led by head coach Adel Amrouche and disbanded the team.

On Tuesday, the federation hired Bobby Williamson as the new coach. But, the government is not taking the developments lightly.

Hassan Wario, the Sports Cabinet Secretary has promised to give a comprehensive statement by the end of the week that could have huge implications on local football administration.

Speaking on Citizen TVs Cheche show, Wario fell short of saying the government is ready to risk a FIFA ban in putting its' house in order. “Since the loss over the weekend, we are consulting and considering our options seriously at the ministry level. We need a total overhaul of the whole structure and bring in new talent,” he said.

If the expected government intervention attracts FIFA sanctions, it will be the third time that the country is following in the route.

In 2004, the country was banned for three months due to government interference. The second ban came in 2006 due to persistent wrangles within the federation.

Unending politicking

Wario blamed the mess on unending politicking at the federation which he said must be sorted out with speed. One of his greatest concern was failure by FKF to heed advice from the Ministry not to suspend three officials during their annual general meeting in June.

Hussein Terry, a NEC member was banned for life while vice-chairman Sammy Sholei and Dan Shikanda were suspended for six years each.

Wario revealed that he met the federation prior to the AGM and agreed that the officials should be reconciled back to the leadership for the sake of football. However, the advice was ignored.

On the changes effected to the national team technical bench by FKF, Wario said the Ministry was kept in the dark despite having attended the match on Sunday with FKF boss Sam Nyamweya and other federation officials.

“Our football is heading nowhere with such a scenario. The changes were just a knee-jerk reaction from the federation after the loss and there was no consultation at all,” he observed rooting for local coaches to steer the national team to prosperity.

“When we were growing up, we had local coaches like Marshal Mulwa winning big with the team and it has not to be Bobby Williamson and other foreign coaches all the time.”

The Cabinet Secretary revealed that expression of interests have already been given out for the construction of five new stadia as captured in the jubilee government manifesto.

In the meantime, he said the government will continue renovating already existing stadia with all counties being encouraged to have at least one high standard stadium.