Ulinzi Stars head coach Robert Matano (right) accepts the 1st runners up coach of the year awar from KBL Managing Director Joe Muganda [LEFT] awards during the 2014 KPL Footballer of the Year Award (FOYA) gala at Safari Park Hotel on 19-11-2014.PHOTO/DENNIS OKEYO

As the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections draw near, former vice-president Twaha Mbarak has received backing from a retired sports administrator.

At the same time, Ulinzi Stars coach Robert Matano has dismissed a group of coaches who have thrown their weight behind Gor Semalang’o for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman’s seat.

Former FKF vice-chairman Mbarak Said, who deputised Kenneth Matiba in 1970s, warned voters not to be manipulated by voting in people who have no passion for football.

“Most of the clubs and delegates set to vote know well people who loves football and should vote in such people.

“Many aspirants have emerged just to be in football management without knowing how some people have sacrificed to see the sport where it is now,” said Mbarak.

“Twaha Mbarak has proved to Kenyans that he is capable of delivering and I urge delegates to give him a chance to serve Kenyans as the Deputy President,” said the ageing sports administrator.

Mbarak (Said) said in his heyday, football was at its peak due to proper management.

“We had few sponsors but managed to run the sport professionally, thus producing some of the best footballers in Africa,” Said said.

Mbarak said Twaha has what it takes to win the second top most seat if supported.

“Twaha Mbarak has received overwhelming support not only from Coast but from other regions if his endorsement by branches is anything to go by and he deserves to win the seat,” added Mbarak.

According to the election rules, aspirants for Presidency and Deputy President must get five branches.

Mbarak has been endorsed by over 10 branches including North and South Coast.

Mbarak (Twaha) has been traversing both North and South Coast branches to cement his home support.

Other regions as well have thrown their support behind him.

In dismissing coaches who have thrown their weight behind Semalang’o, Matano said the coaches had not sat down to chart the way forward.

Semalang’o was three weeks ago endorsed by the Kenya Football Coaches Association (KEFOCA) top brass who have been campaigning with him across the country.

But Matano, who is the chairman of elite coaches in the country, insists that as professionals, they should remain non-partisan.

“We have just been seeing and hearing that some coaches have endorsed a certain candidate.

“As elite coaches no one has asked us our opinion. Furthermore, as coaches, we should try and remain non-partisan,” he said.

He added: “In the event that we want to endorse anyone let us come together and consult and see who can run football in the country.”

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