Former players seek inclusion but condemn taking leadership at ‘all costs’ after failed FKF AGM
SPORTS By JONAH ONYANGO | July 2nd 2015
A group of former footballers have waded into football politics in the wake of a stand-off between rival Football Kenya Federation delegates, saying the impasse is testimony that football is good but has been held hostage by partisan interests.
The ex-footballers urged the delegates to reflect on the existing opportunities. Speaking at a Nairobi hotel, the former players castigated attempted use of force to take over the games leadership.
“We have often disagreed with the leadership of FKF, but as footballers we can never go to the extent of putting at risk the lives of the same people football has to serve,” the legendary Joe Kadenge, who spoke on behalf of the players, said following reports there were armed undercover hirelings at the aborted FKF meeting in Kisii on June 26. “We know a majority of FKF delegates mean well for the Kenyan game. This is why we are reaching out to them, in the same spirit we entertained some of those who did not play the game to take us on board so we can build the game together,” Kadenge said.
Under the slogan “Stop Football Genocide”, they said they would seek to build bridges with elected FKF officials ahead of elections.
“Football is bleeding, the country is weeping and the game is sliding into anarchy,” the players protested.
While criticising the administration of the local sport, the former footballers asked FKF president to ease former footballers into leadership positions.
“Footballers are peaceful people, that is why they have for so long taken a back seat when those who did not play take arms. We may have out differences with Nyamweya but we cannot seek to remove him at all costs.
“Nyamweya will not be there forever. And we believe he knows that.
“We also believe we have the ability, capacity and passion to steer the Kenyan football ship to the right direction. We declare that we shall offer ourselves for various positions in the upcoming FKF elections in October, 2015,” he said.
The only one who has so far declared his candidature is former Harambee Stars, Gor Mahia and City Stars ace Ken Oliech who is running for the chairmanship.
The group also appealed to Nyamweya to have suspensions of some officials lifted during the forthcoming FKF Annual General Meeting slated for August 28 in Nairobi.
“Let the game of football be administered from the pitch and not in boardrooms and court rooms,” they implored.
Those suspended include ex-international Sammy Sholei who was serving as vice chairman, Dan Shikanda (FKF Nairobi branch boss) and National Executive Committee (NEC) Coast representative Hussein Terry.
Among the footballers at the press conference were Kadenge, Shollei, Shikanda, Ken Oliech, Josephat ‘Controller’ Murila, Willis Waliulia, Francis Oduor and John Busolo.
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