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Nyamweya is Football Kenya boss

Updated Sunday, October 30th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Robin Toskin

Sam Nyamweya swept aside six rivals including stiff challenge from youthful Hussein Mohammed to romp home with 37 per cent of votes cast.

Nyamweya polled 1,385 votes, while Hussein garnered 958 representing 27 per cent and out-going chairman Mohamed Hatimy getting 18 per cent (576 votes).

Chairmen elect Sam Nyamweya at Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani, on Saturday. Photo: Stafford Ondego/Standard

The poll was historic in many ways for it was only the second time clubs had voted directly for national officials (the other being in 1974 that elected Kenneth Matiba).

The election will also be remembered for its numerous false starts spanning three years.

The incumbents scuttled any process for an election until the world football governing body Fifa and the Kenyan Government forced them into an all-inclusive poll.

In the end, the victory for Nyamweya would be one he savour for years to come for he had the last laugh against a public opinion that clamoured for a break with former administrators for new personnel.

Nyamweya was the Secretary General of KFF in 1996 to 2000. His long drawn battle with Mohamed Hatimy wore down the public’s patience — a period within which the national team, Harambee Stars, suffered the ignominy of being the continent’s whipping boys.

Hussein, the public’s Knight in shinning armour rode on the desire for change, prosecuted a fairly impressive campaign that caught the attention of the vote-less constituency and not the actual voting clubs.

And with local football landscape mirroring its home at Fifa House, in Zurich, Switzerland —where the more there is clamour for change the more things remain the same — the odds were always stack against Hussein.

Five of the candidates, Nyamweya, Hussein, Twaha Mbarak, Mohammed Hatimy and Ambrose Rachier ran intensive campaigns.

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