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Now clean up the rot killing our football

By The Standard | Published Fri, February 12th 2016 at 00:00, Updated February 11th 2016 at 22:38 GMT +3

Sam Nyamweya's reign at the top of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) came to an end on Wednesday this week when the federation held its elections in which he did not defend his seat. Mr Nyamweya became president of Football Kenya Federation in 2011 and has presided over the affairs of football in Kenya even as standards dipped over the years. Earlier, Mr Nyamweya had served as the secretary general of the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) that gave way to FKF.

It was generally feared the elections would be heated and chaotic, but his withdrawal took many by surprise. This despite the fact that in the preceding months, there had been national demands for him to relinquish his position and pave way for new blood who could revive the dwindling fortunes of football in Kenya.

It is a measure of how well and transparent the FKF elections were that the losing contestants accepted defeat graciously. For the new President of FKF, Nick Mwendwa, it was a momentous occasion but he should put the champagne on ice. There is work to do and he must appreciate that even as he exuded confidence, rejoiced in his convincing win and promising to get Kenya to the World Cup, it will not be a walk on the turf. There are those who will want to trip him up.

To succeed, he must involve stakeholders at all levels in every crucial decision-making exercise.

The management of football in Kenya has been so lacking, our national team Harambee stars no longer has the large following it once enjoyed. Mr Mwendwa's first order of business will be to turn those fortunes around, revamp the team and win back the confidence of disappointed football fans. The management of funds from grants, gate collections and Fifa, football's world governing federation, have been the cause of wrangles within FKF.

The same transparency witnessed in the elections must be employed in the management of funds to give the new team a chance to work for the betterment of football at all levels. We at The Standard wish the new team well in their demanding work.