Adapted from the Standard:
By Ben Ahenda
“Sports Minister Paul Otuoma should flex his muscles and rein in on the feuding football factions to restore sanity in local football,” says former Kenya international winger, Nahashon Oluoch ‘Lule’.
Oluoch said Kenya should rather face a three-year Fifa ban, but put its house in order.
He feels certain officials have for a long time hidden behind an eminent Fifa ban to do great business with local footballers to rake in millions of shillings annually.
“It is time to stop all this nonsense,” an angry Oluoch told Fever Pitch in an interview at a Nakuru hotel, on Monday.
He pointed out that the formation of Football Kenya Limited (FKL) was a technique by its owners to avoid competition from able and experienced football administrators.
“Let those running football now resign and give others a chance,” he stated. But he maintained that Kenya Football Federation (KFF) officials should be given a hearing because they, too, have a following in the sport.
“After all, a company and its officials cannot be voted out if they mess up, but federation officials, under the Societies Act, can be punished,” he added.
The former international footballer said the only option left for Otuoma is to stamp his authority and prevail upon ‘these disgruntled football businessmen’ from taking the country’s football to the dogs.
“How will a private company have affiliated sub-branches and branches? How will it bring on board referees, coaches and former players? Are these stakeholders expected to buy shares for them to be given a hearing? We are heading nowhere,” he warned.
He noted that Kenya, like the rest of the world, only needs a federation to run football, but not a company (in reference to FKL, who are at loggerheads with the KFF).
“Sports Minister only needs to dissolve FKL and ensure a federation, in which all stakeholders are brought on board, is in charge,” he said.
Oluoch named football stakeholders as coaches, former players, referees and experienced administrators who have the sport at heart, but not those out to make money at the expense of players.
He challenged the Government not to hesitate taking action.
“It will only take us two to three years for the Fifa wrath, but we sweep these disgruntled elements under the carpet for good. We’ll make the future of our talented players bright,” he noted.
Oluoch urged Harambee Stars coach Twahir Muhiddin to resign after failing to lead the national team to victory against the lowly-rated Guinea Bissau on their quest to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Stars lost by a solitary goal to the West Africans, and Oluoch maintains, unfair selection of national team coaches has led to players not respecting them.
Oluoch, who played for Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars in the 1970s and 80s before he flew out to the US in 1982 for further studies, told the local football governing body to own up.
However, Oluoch supports the formation of Kenya Premier League Company (KPL) to run club football on behalf of the federation, where all participating clubs are shareholders
“It is through such sound management by the KPL Company that they have been able to attract sponsors,” he said.