Kenya’s sports scene has been busy for the most part of this month, which is just four days into its fourth and final week. Ideally, sports writers, and more so commentators have been spoilt for choice for they have had so many pertinent issues to address.
For a start, the Sports Ministry got a new Cabinet Secretary, and based on the performance of his predecessor, Kenyans can only hope for the best. But, if reports from handover ceremony, or rather his first press conference, are to be believed, Kenyans can only hope that the media will not fall deeper into his pockets — or that he will not pay his way out — and fail to put him to task when things are not going right.
It can be argued that those are the ways of a few wayward “journalists” but the net effect can be enormous for they can easily drown out views of the many who mean well because they have the “motivation” to show that all is well and people who point out to the contrary do not want to see success and are not deliberately not seeing success. Remember, ours is a country where the parental authority is filled with crybabies, people who would rather die than admit wrongdoing.
It was also during this week that AFC Leopards continued with its continental campaign in the Confederations Cup. It did not go well, of course, and Leopards have been knocked out after 180 minutes of football which yielded only two goals.
So much has been said, and more will be said, but the fact is local clubs must do better, more so when it comes to finances, after all, money makes the world go round.
It is painful, and even shameful, that Kenya’s two biggest clubs — Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards — in terms of fan base and trophies, are nowadays more known for holding out begging bowls than winning continental trophies. It is time to change tack or officials.
Still on matters football, for Harambee Stars, it is back to square one, or even lower, as far as the technical bench is concerned and the King of Draws, the soft-spoken Stanley Okumbi is back at the helm as coach after Paul Put threw in his jersey due to amorphous “personal reasons” just after three months.
Again, so many other reasons, nay, excuses and theories, for his departure have been advanced, and if history is anything to go by, we will have to dig deeper to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God. But by then, it will be too late.
The biggest blow to Kenya’s sporting fraternity and sorority during this month has been in cricket, the Gentleman’s Game which in Kenya is anything but gentlemanly.
Yes, Kenya will not participate in next year’s Cricket World Cup, and several others thereafter considering that Kenya are in World Cricket League Division Three, and from the look of things, there is nothing but a downward spiral to lower leagues, and highly likely, oblivion.
After a slew of poor performances, Kenya lost the One day International status and dropped to Division Two, and last week, dropped to Division Three.
There were opportunities for rebuilding but those tasked with improving the game decided to engage in matters that only led to its slow death. Thus, Kenya’s demotion to the Third Division is not due to a recent incident, but a slew of man-made unfortunate events that began years back and cannot even be streamlined by the recent departure of the Cricket Kenya boss, the captain and the coach.
While their departure, and more so of my good friend Thomas Odoyo (the coach) will not change things over night, it is a good start — even if a little too late.
— The writer is an editor at Standard Weekend editions.