NAIROBI, April 11 – With less than 24 hours to the eagerly awaited Mashemeji Derby between archrivals champions Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture has declared both clubs ‘illegal entities’.
Wario who was speaking Saturday when attending Sports Journalists Association Kenya (SJAK) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Nairobi said the two giants have not complied with the 2013 Sports Act that requires every federation and club to register with the Registrar of Sports.
“Tomorrow (Sunday) two big clubs play against each other but it’s so sad to state that the derby is illegal. Both teams command a lot of respect and followers but none of them is recognized by the government.
“Everyone should abide by the law (Sports Act) the two teams are over 50 years old but have nothing to show of not even their own history. The players have done nothing wrong but they are being let down by the management with their bad leadership,” Wario declared.
The minister also blasted Football Kenya Federation president, Sam Nyamweya and Kenyan Premier League CEO, Jack Oguda who were in attendance, saying they have dragged the game behind by taking too long to find an amicable solution in their wars that held the beautiful sport at ransom for over five months.
“Our message was very simple from the beginning, we have 16 teams then transit slowly but my good friends here (Nyamweya and Oguda) wasted money to rush to court yet after ignoring local tribunal. Eventually Fifa told them to work with one league that was there before.
“The federation should be concentrating on developing talent because we can’t depend on one person now and yet we have young players who can even do better,” the minister added referring to Harambee Stars squad.
At least 60 sports journalists from various media houses attended the AGM where Star Newspaper motorsports guru writer Samson Ateka was elected as Executive Committee Member to fill the void left vacant after the office failed to get a lady for the affirmative.
Ateka amassed 30 votes to beat Citizen Tv’s Maureen Mwende (19) and Standard Newspaper’s Eric Ochieng (6).
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion are Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, Coca Cola Public Affairs Relations Manager Bob Okello, Athletics Kenya (AK) CEO Isaac Mwangi and AK Nyanza South chairman, Peter Angwenyi.