The politics of Kenyan football (Part Two)
Government refuses to follow protocol
Worldwide, Football Kenya Limited (FKL) is the recognised body by FIFA . In terms of hierachy, we have FIFA followed by CAF, then the National Association which is equivalent to Governments all over the world (KFF).
It is important for the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports and Health to be involved in football issues in this country, with FKL at the centre of it all as the broker party. Yet the Government does not want to follow protocol. FIFA has its own laws and Government. FIFA has its own established rules. FIFA is the biggest Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the world with 208 members. This impunity has cost FKL dearly.
According to FIFA rules the age bracket for football players should be as follows from grassroots: 6-8, 8-10, 11-12 and 13-14. Each group plays between itself because of different muscular/mental format Each age group has its own modulation of Governance. FIFA insists on teacher coaches because they know how to handle different age groups. They understand the psychology of the children and will help them adapt. Thus it is important for the Ministry of Education can pass this knowledge down to the teachers.
“My job is to churn out coaches. If we can have 30/40 teachers during Easter holidays, it will not coast more than KShs 200,000 to coach and develop teachers in the ratio of 2 males to 1 female. This would give a general balance of 40 men to 20 women.” says Patrick N. Naggi, chairman Football Kenya Limited (FKL)
Women football comes of age
Women football has come of age; women to women and men to men. Which man will ever stand the inner part of a woman? When a woman says, she cannot make it for a 100-metre race because of her menses. A man will just have to understand. At the crest, there will be a man to maintain focus, to ensure as a figurehead all is working.
Naggi explains: “We have a group of coaching instructors through qualifications and track records. Look at teams such as Brazil, Japan, Hungary. Disfiguring a four-year plan and changing coaches overnight is just not the done thing.”
Politicians killing football
The politicians think they are doing a good job, but they are simply killing football. Every change must be gradual and there must be a grey phase – induction and handing over. A team like Congo United has had almost four new coaches.
At the moment, Tanzania/Uganda has very sound youth programmes. Rwanda, the cry baby of yesterday has seven pitches done by FIFA, free of charge as Kenya continues playing politics.
“The Goal Project” is funding programmes for 3rd world to help them come up with their world counterparts. In 1974, Zaire represented Africa in the World Cup. They were beaten 10-0. Meridian partner Kenya-Holland wanted to invest in national football. But we lost Holland to Mathare United in 2000. We lost a partner. The conequence? Lack of funding and exposure to rehabilitate the youth in the area.
FIFA has realised the number one challenge in Africa, is poor pitch conditions. It is high time the Government offered the piece of land which it could co-own with the local Federation and FIFA.
Phase One, would be to develop a hostel (kitchen, dining room, lecture hall/sleeping quarters) fully equipped. Phase Two would be funding of the block; they give the Association money to build. In Phase Three, the funds would be invested in artificial pitches, at least two; a training pitch and the Main Stadium.
There is no reason why Harambee Stars stay in Hotels. We as Kenya never got to the third phase because of Non-co-operation of Government. The Government has consistently disregarded FIFA and failed to recognise it as the Supreme football body.
Phase Four is the development of a National Stadium such as the City Stadium. FIFA came in, gave funds, developed pitch to elevate the pitch standard. “The Stadium is always full during matches. The City Council should have elevated the status to build a perimeter wall across the entire site. The inner stadium wall should have been raised to about 15 feet and offices and stalls erected. It would have generated a lot of income. The hawkers should have moved into the car park and paid rent. People could use buses to town,” says Naggi.
Government wants to eat
But it seems like the Government only wants to eat; they do not want to develop. That is why this country is where it is.
Part 3: Who is this Patrick Naggi and what secret things has he done when he was a footballer? To be continued. Look out for the Sports Features page.
Copyright Omwa Ombara 2012.