Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Big DAy For Us

well, this is it. Today is FIFA's deadline for us to put our house in order. We clearly haven't (yet) but things are looking up after the meeting with CAF officials yielded some results. AND CAF put a Kenyan referee in charge of an Africa Cup of Nations match - this can only be good news. Let's hope today we get even better news: may they please lift the damn ban!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Which is Your Favorite Team

I love KCB because in the 2003 season I went to almost all their games - my cousin was playing for them then. That year they won a cup competition - I'm not sure which one! So, readers, which team do you guys like the most? Leave a comment saying why.

As you can see, I included Supastrikas. Here's why.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

This Week in Kenya Football

The happenings of this week, though few, are very significant. There is hope yet for our football as the CAF meetings convened by Kamanda bore fruit. The meeting convened at the request of CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye to CAF President Issa Hayatou confirmed, four resolutions to be implemented immediately, enabling the country regain re-admittance back into international football. These are:

  • That there be a full implementation of the 28-point Cairo agreement. It was noted that KFF/CAF/FIFA were party to the agreement and the revival of Kenyan Football has to be based along the path agreed upon in Cairo.
  • That the Minister of Sports of the Government of Kenya, cease with immediate effect, further interferance of the running of football in the country. The minister had earlier made a committment to CAF president Issa Hayatou that he will no longer interfere with KFF and it's affiliate clubs.
  • That KFF officials withdraw all court cases relating to football. Acting KFF Chairman Mohammed Hatimy and suspended Alfred Sambu had to make a committment to withdraw all pending court cases.
  • That KFF call a National Congress to confirm the agreements with regards to number of premier league teams, ratifying the suspension of Alfred Sambu and other fine details according to FIFA stipulations.
Read more on this.

What about the media? Are they to blame?

In all honesty, Kenya Football is in a real mess. The KFF is inefficient, corrupt and lethargic; the government is insensitive, inconsiderate and interferes with football resulting in unsolicited and unwanted outcomes; and the fans don't show up for games. Could things get any worse? Yes. There's a fourth player in the let's-ruin-our-football game. What about the Fourth Estate?

In a perfect world, the media would actively participate in the resurrection of our soccer. They would bring back the passion for local football by highlighting the good aspects of our game all the time (or even at least as much as they highlight the foreign football leagues). They would make any football loving Kenyan want to go and watch local matches just by talking about our football in a positive way. They would cover every match, publish pictures, show us short clips of matches on TV, and generally make us feel envious at how much fun it was watching a certain game live. AND albeit the local premier league is dead, there's still good football out there – the ongoing Super 8 Soccer tournament being one of them – so the excuse that local football doesn't warrant the media's attention is just hogwash.

But this is not a perfect world. In actual fact, our media pays little or no attention to our local game. That's why a leading daily newspaper can publish plainly wrong facts and not even offer a simple apology. This week, the Nation had the audacity to claim that the Super 8 Soccer tournament was in the quarter final stage – clearly not true!. The fact that that story was published clearly shows that no research went into the story and the editor didn't even bother to check the facts. Scandalous! If that was not bad enough, I have seen with my own two eyes journalists (names withheld) asleep or busy with their newspapers, books and whatnot at a soccer game that they are supposedly being paid to cover. The straw that breaks the camel's back, however, is the shocking fact that journalists take bribes to take sides in the local football chaos. I blame the media for everything wrong with our football.

I believe that blogs like this one are also part of the media and so in blaming the media I blame myself also. We can do so much more to build our football!

Super 8 Fixtures

Dagoreti – Nduararua Grounds

Waithaka Babes Vs K-Rep Bank
Kakamega Youth Vs City Landers

Embakasi – Dandora Stadium
Dandora Maono Fc Vs Dandora Adjentos
Dandora All Stars Vs Umoja Renegades

Lang'ata – Woodley Stadium
Ligi Ndogo FC Vs Kibera Zulu
Al Swafaa Vs Undugu Youth

Kamukunji – Morrison Primary School
Shauri Moyo FC Vs Uprising
Country Bus Vs Salem

Starehe – Huruma Grounds

University of Nairobi Vs Mathare Outreach
Huruma Youth Vs Huruma Cranes

Makadara – Hamza Grounds
Buru Buru Sacramento Vs Makongeni Youth
Buru Buru 58 FC Vs Hakati FC

Kasarani – Baba Dogo Grounds
CDC Korogocho Vs Kariobangi Sharks
Lucky Summer Vs Githurai United

Westlands – Kabete Technical
Rysa Vs ACK Kabete
Brook United Vs Wysa

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another look at Hon. Kamanda

All along, I have villified our sports minister in this blog because I believe he should no better than to meddle in local football when FIFA specifically warns agaisnt any government interefering in football. AND also because I just don't like politicans.

However, sometimes I feel that the minister is doing what any sensible government should do. I mean, the KFF officials have been tormenting our football for decades and its a good thing to try and stop this. Perhaps the minister is the champion we've been waiting for to save our football. In theory, he'd come in, rid us of the poisonous elements in KFF and then remove all government influence in football and voila! Our favorite game would prosper. Perhaps our good minister had this in mind. The sad fact is that his actions just drove us deeper into the mud that we're stuck in right now.

Recently, he held a meeting with the CAF president Issa Hayatou and invited CAF officials to come hold talks in kenya to try and resolve our issues. Rumour has it that the talks are already bearing fruit. This action makes me think that perhaps Kamanda does have our interests at heart. If that is the case, kudos to him. Thank you, honorable minister.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Weekend Results

Though it was yet another weekend of chaos in the premier league as both parallel leagues continued, fans were treated to exciting football through the Super 8 soccer tournament where favorites Leviticus were dumped out of the competition and Dandora Youth survived a scare.

Gachie Sportiff 4 Leviticus 1
Kangemi Youth 4 Pirates Youth 0
Baba Dogo United 1 Githurai Sportiff 0
Mbotela Kamaliza 3 Mbotela Angels 1
Ngara Youth Pelico 5 FC WhyNot 1
Dandora Youth 0 Komarock Rangers 0 (Dandora won 3-1 on penalties)
Milo FC 3 Dandora Youngstars 1
Kakamega United 1 Gachui Black Boots 0
Melta Kibiria 2 Talent 1
Kariobangi 2 Stima 0
Iron Strikers 2 Kuwinda 0

Premier League:
Mahakama 3 Agro Chemical 3
Mumias 3 Shabana 0
Homegrown 1 thika 0
Mathare youth 2 Coast 1
Ulinzi 1 gor 0
Mathare 1 Sher Agencies 1

Monday, February 19, 2007

Over to you, Mr. President

Over the weekend, KFF officials called on the president of the republic of Kenya to personally come in and rescue Kenya Football from the clutches of Hon. Kamanda who is leading us into football wilderness. They even went as far as suggestion that football be moved from the ministry of sports to the office of the president as part of 'special programmes'.

Let's hope all this leads us somewhere other than a long FIFA ban.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

This Week in Kenya Football

Surprisingly, it was a quiet week in which the usual stand offs, threats and whatnot were conspicously absent. That's a good thing, don't you think. In fact it was a good week for our football. For one thing, kenya moved up FIFA rankings despite having lost our two last games and being out in the cold thanks to A FIFA ban. That's pretty amazing. I imagine that we'd have moved up even further in the rankings if we had not been banned.

To sum up our good week, yesterday Mohamed Hatimy wrote a letter to the minister of sports seeking a truce so as to save Kenya Football. I must say this is a very admirable and welcome move. Aren't things looking up? Hopefully the governement will respond in kind and work towards putting an end to all this mess, and register us for the 2010 world cup before it's too late.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kenya moves up FIFA rankings

Despite being out in the cold thanks to a FIFA ban, the Kenya national team moved up in FIFA rankings from 129 to 127th in the world. However, we still lie behind Uganda(102) and Tanzania(109). Read full story here.

Did you know that KFF referees won't be hired by the Nyamira Secondary Schools' Sports Association to officiate this year's ball games? They'll train games' teachers instead. Why? Because previously, KFF referees instigated fights between competing teams by poor officiating.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Giants fall

The Super 8 soccer tournament is Kenya's very own knock-out football. Lose one game, and you're out, see you next year. This weekend saw the tournament enter its sixth edition and was a real giant killing occasion where favorites like Gladiators, Black Mamba and Veg Pro (just to mention a few) were knocked out by relative minnows. Folks, this is what soccer is all about. Most of the teams in this tournament are teams representing various regions of Nairobi and hence emotions run high as you head to the game to cheer on not just your neighborhood team but also your neighbors. Call it grass roots football but this is the real stuff; the stuff that fans love! I can't wait for some of the teams from my home, Starehe Constituency, to play!

Perhaps this is precisely the reason why the local premier league is lacking in fans (incidentally, Super 8 matches are full of fans). You go to a stadium to see strange teams play in an empty 20000 seater stadium. Doesn't Sony Sugar FC leave a bad taste in the mouth? I think we should have more regional teams in the top flight. Here are the weekend's results:

Kakamega United 2 Gladiators 1
Gachui Black roots 2 Impala 1
Komarock rangers 3 Soweto 1
Buru Buru Sacramento 1 Black Mamba 0
Mbotela Angels 4 Hamsa heroes 3
Baba Dogo United 2 Metro Sports 1
Gachie FC 3 Delways 2
Waithaka Babes 2 Hidden Talent 1
Milo FC 1 Veg Pro 1 - Milo FC won 6-5 in post match penalties

and in the bland parallel local leagues:
Coast 1 Homegrown 0
Red Berets 2 Gor Mahia 1
Mumias 3 AFC Leopards 0

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Week in Kenyan Football

The week started with a painful reminder of the effects of the FIFA ban on Kenyan Football when KFF halted issuance of International transfer certificates meaning Kenyan players will have a really hard time trying to get to play for teams outside Kenya. However, a bit of this news' sour taste was removed when the start of the Super 8 tournament was announced - only for it to be reinstated with the realization that the Supastrikas are kings of Kenya!

Kamanda, the destroyer, mad matters worse when he literally signed Kenya's ticket to football hell. He decided to only hold negotiations with KFF officials after a court ruling due on the 28th of february - incidentally the last day of the FIFA deadline to Kenya. Indeed, FIFA are playing hardball but our good sports minister is a man under pressure and seems to have resorted to dirty tricks. Maybe he is at fault in all this and should just leave our game alone. We do not need politicians in football!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Most Popular Team in Kenya

If we take out the obvious fan-favorites like Arsenal and Man u, which team do you think is the most popular in kenya? Perhaps the once mighty Gor Mahia? Or their arch-rivals the AFC leopards?

Wrong, and wrong. I say the most popular team in Kenya is the Supastrikas. For one thing, they have a huge fan-base and play in a fabulous league. They even have a website! Note that Kenya's Thika United are the only tem that have a website to write home about. It is well designed, well maintained and even, gasp, regularly updated. Perhaps some of you mayhave seen Mathare United's website and wonder what i'm talking about. True, they do have a website but, up until a few months ago, it hadn't been updated for years. What about the other teams? Nope. No websites. Not even Tusker(ironically, they are bankrolled by EABL) or the champions, Sony Sugar.

But perhaps it doesn't make much money-sense to invest so much in a team that plays in a country whose football scene is in shambles. Maybe that's why the most popular team in Kenya exists only in comic books. The Daily Nation say it best:

'Unfortunately, what is portrayed in the Supastrikas remains just that: a dream far removed from the reality of the miserable drag that is the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) Premier League.'

So, is the most popular player in Kenya Shakes Makena?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's Here!!

The much awaited Safaricom Super 8 football tournament is finally here to save us from the current chaos in the local league. For those of you who don't know, the tournament is held annually and attracts teams from all the 8 locations(if my std. 4 GHC serves me right) of Nairobi. Over the weekend, the current champions, Dandora All Stars, were held to a 1-1 draw by the previous year's champions, Dandora Youth. The game was a friendly to serve as a curtain opener for the tournament, which has been characterized by huge turn outs by fans.
It seems Embakasi is King of Nairobi.

In other news, here are the results from the parallel local league matches over the weekend.
Howgrown 0 Mathare Youth 0
Red Berets 1 KCB 2
Gor Mahia 1 Mumias 1
Sony 0 Mahakam 0

Mumias 2 Kangemi 1
Mahakama 0 Shabana 0
Thika 0 Mathare Youth 0

Friday, February 02, 2007

This Week in Kenyan Football

Even by the high Kenyan standards, this has been a strange week indeed. As we all know, FIFA had a meeting that could have resulted in the lifting of the ban it put on Kenya. As expected, they(Blatter & Co.) dashed all our hopes and didn't lift the ban. However, our good sports minister applauded the decision. Maybe he forgot that all other countries are preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations, not to forget that Tanzania are going to Brazil! At least he got a letter! (If you know what I mean.)

In other news, while our coach was scouting for talent, the team bus was sold, by a former KFF secretary General, no less. Talk of milking us! Also, the goverment hit out at FIFA and was promptly served with a warning while the case against Munro was declared illegal!

Let's hope sanity returns soon, even as we look forward to yet another weekend of two parallel leagues!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Olaba at Work

We all know that the Kenya national football team has been banned by FIFA since last year. But does anyone know where our (current) national coach is?

Folks, it seems like we finally have a coach that cares. Olaba was recently in the North Eastern province hosting a football tournament, scouting for new talent for the Harambee Stars. And it paid off! He invited one promising middlefielder (who he, incidentally, compared to Ronaldinho) for try-outs with the Stars. Now the only problem is the nagging question: when will the Harambee Stars play again?