FKF look for redemption by hosting CECAFA Senior Challenge

By alex wafula
Nov 09, 2017
  • FKF are hosting the CECAFA Senior Challenge competition after failing to get the nod from CAF to host CHAN. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Football Federation of Kenya who bungled hosting Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) have a chance to redeem themselves look by hosting this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup from Novemver 26 to December 10.

Although the regional competition is less glamorous, a successful tournament after a two-year lull could put back some sheen on the battered image of FKF who are also facing discontent from the football fraternity.

None of the stadia which had been identified by FKF to host CHAN are among those that will be used for the regional event which will have two visiting teams, Zimbabwe and Libya.

Instead, the two-week event will be staged in Western Kenya at Mumias Complex, Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega and Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

The Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani and the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos have been put on standby in the event of heavy rainfall.

The Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega has been undergoing renovation for the past one year and FKF is confident it will be ready for the tournament.

Mumias and Moi in Kisumu will also undergone minor facelifts to ensure they meet the required standards.

The tournament was not held last year owing to financial and leadership challenges at CECAFA, but Nicholas Musonye, the regional body’s Secretary General is confident this is the beginning of better tidings for the continent’s oldest football body.

“CECAFA has been one of the most active members in CAF. Since 1999 we have failed to organize and event only one year; 2016. I don’t think we have been inactive. This should be the beginning of better things for CECAFA,” Musonye said on Wednesday afternoon.

“We met with the governor of Kakamega and he has assured us that the little things we raised concern of will be dealt with. I am very confident Kenya will host a successful competition,” the CECAFA chief further added.

Source of Cecafa sponsorship not disclosed

Musonye did not give an indication on the source of finance for the regional tournament. Rwanda President Paul Kagame sponsors the club championship..

Only two CECAFA members; Eritrea and Djibouti will not participate in the tournament.

Musonye said they will not invite Eritrea whose players have been notorious of sneaking away any time there is a tournament. Djibouti on the other hand dissolved their national team.

Defending champions Uganda, hosts Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Zanzibar, Burundi and Somalia will all be involved in the tournament. The draw is expected to be conducted next week.

Musonye and Nick Mwendwa, the FKF boss have also confirmed that talks are ongoing for both broadcast and title sponsors.

“There are several people we are talking to and we should be able to come up with something concrete complete with definite budget figures by next week. But everything is set and we want to have a successful tournament here,” Mwendwa said.

Kenya had been preparing to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN) next year but the tournament has since been taken to Morocco due to Kenya’s inability to measure up to the standards set by CAF.

Musonye meanwhile says the tournament should be a marker of better football development for the region adding it will also be a unifying factor for the country after a brutal electioneering period.

“We know the power football has and this tournament comes at a good time because it will help us live as brothers and sisters once again. We are also hoping that this tournament can bring back the good old days of CECAFA,” Musonye further added.

At the same time, FKF have picked Herbert Mwachiro as the tournament’s Local Organizing Committee head. He was incharge of the failed bid by Kenya to host CHAN despite promising the venues would be ready.

It will be a particularly important tourney for Uganda as well as either Rwanda or Ethiopia who are preparing for next year’s CHAN.

Rwanda and Ethiopia will play the return leg of their qualifier this weekend with Rwanda taking a 3-2 lead to the return leg.

The tournament will help the region’s representatives in the tournament test their systems and give their players a competitive edge, a priceless platform for preparation.

Change in FKF Constitution

Meanwhile, FKF will be having its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 18 and among the items on the agenda is the adoption of the new constitution which has a contentious proposal of increasing the office limit to three terms of four years each.

This will be a contravention of the current Sports Act which directs that officials should only hold office for two terms of four years each. Mwendwa however says the document has been conformed to FIFA and CAF statutes.

“We sent this document to CAF and FIFA and they approved of it. We also discussed this with our members in a consultative meeting and no one had a problem with it,” Mwendwa alleged.

With the draft expected to be passed at the AGM as most members have already held their thumbs up to it, its future remains uncertain especially with its contravention of the Sports Act. Mwendwa however says the document will be acceptable.

Among the other changes proposed in the draft include increase of AGM members to 94 from the current 78 as well as turning all counties into branches, with Nairobi divided into two making it 48 branches.

All the 290 constituencies will now act as sub-branches according to the draft. “We are increasing the members of the AGM to make it more inclusive and ensure that everyone’s views are heard. If this is passed, it will be implemented from the next AGM,” Mwendwa explained.

The 94 members will include all the 48 branches, 18 teams from the KPL, 10 each from the National Super League and Division One, three from the Women Premier League, two from the Women’s Division One League and one each from the referee’s coaches and players’ unions.