Last Wednesday, I woke up to a hilarious article by Charles Nyende. It was all about the raging debate on the formation of a European Super League which attracted a huge backlash and sparked demonstrations by fans. The piece may look simple and cheeky, to say the least, but the depth of it was quite unsettling and truthful.
While in Europe, football fans are against the formation of a Super League because it is fronted by the greedy club owners seeking even greater profits, what Nyende said about Kenya was totally progressive, and constructive criticism on the incompetence that has bedeviled us for a long time now.
As a country, we know the shortfalls in our football too well. We have trudged on this path for years.
In 2008, Football Kenya Limited was formed and the world governing body, Fifa, in a baffling manner, immediately recognised the new federation which took over control of Kenyan football from Kenya Football Federation (KFF).
KFF was not going to take it lying down, and they even sued Fifa for failing to recognise it and extending its (Fifa’s) support to a limited liability company. KFF also appealed to the Court for Arbitration of Sports (CAS) for a proper ruling.
On April 27, 2010, CAS dismissed the KFF’s appeal and asked Fifa to continue recognising FKL as the governing body of Kenyan football. During this “show of might” and incessant wars between some individuals in these two inept associations, Kenyan football was at its lowest ebb.
The clubs were perpetually broke and many of them were folding up. They had to do something quickly to stay alive.
This led to the formation of the Kenya Premier League (KPL) which was run by the clubs themselves. It came out as a brilliant idea, and the combatants were too weak to quash it.
When the two infamous federations were merged and Football Kenya Federation was formed, the next battle line was to bring all the clubs back to the fold.
This was finally accomplished last year when the contract of KPL lapsed and FKF declined to renew it. The federation took over all the controls.
The formation of a 18-team league ended the contract with SuperSport and the Kenyan league became a totally local affair which was not televised elsewhere on the continent.
Betting companies, smothered by government taxes, pulled out their sponsorship for the league and the teams were back to square one!
The Covid-19 lockdowns threatened to put the final nail in the clubs’ coffins. After the musical chairs from managers, don’t be surprised if the next move will be from the clubs. And when they move, they could go the Super League way.
They should not stop there, but must get rid of the whole football administration of this country with or without Fifa. We are tired. We would rather be banned than continue pretending all is well!