The tragic-comical Kenya football soap opera, La Levancha de Keniano Futbol (The Revenge of Kenyan Football) is back on the screens! Please do not adjust your sets; the hot new episodes are being released on almost daily basis, is there even time to shoot new scenes? It’s all unfolding so fast!
After elbowing his erstwhile antagonists in Season 1 namely Mohammed Hatimy, Erastus Okul and Titus Kasuve in elections best described (to avoid legal recourse) ‘suspect’ in October 2011, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president; Sam Keengu Nyamweya, starring as Uncle Sam is now strapped up, two pistols in the holster as a one man rodeo show in Season 2, grab your popcorn folks, put your feet up the sofa since this will be riveting drama to the very end!
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) led by Jack Oguda (Smokin Jack) are Season 2’s ‘villains’ with Uncle Sam compelling them to have him run their family (and the cheddar involved) or he will squeeze out the life, pluck out hair by hair of what they hold dear; the country’s top-flight club competition, until it passes away.
With a re-election coming up next season for ‘Uncle Sam’ things are about to get ugly in the battle to the death where the last man standing will survive. Forget Survivor Series, this is not a television reality show but a full blown war!
From his headquarters by the swimming pool at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium, ‘Uncle Sam’ with a pirates’ monocle for good effect, has been firing one cannon ball after another at the direction of KPL’s Riverside Drive residence.
-Bomb’s over KPL-
Boooooommm!!! Went the first, when FKF decided to meddle in Match No 158 between Sony Sugar and AFC Leopards that stands indefinitely suspended four months after the original game was set and after the last ball was kicked technically meaning the 2014 KPL has not ended. *Sigh*
Twaarrrrrfffffff!!! KPL’s ruling to award the abandoned Tusker versus Muhoroni Sugar game to the former reversed by Uncle Sam’s organisation but the directive is yet to reflect on the table on the league management’s website despite FKF crowing, “We are the ultimate authority in the game,” or something to that effect, the smoke from the canon-fire is too thick to read what the statement said clearly.
Kabooooooooommmm!!!! After KPL enforces the directive to ensure AFC Leopards played their game against Chemelil Sugar behind closed doors after FKF banned the former’s fans for disturbing the peace (hooliganism is a very bad a word) during an Uncle Sam organised Cup semi final, the federation boss allows the Ingwe faithful and fellow Gor Mahia Green Army supporters back to the terraces inside a week pending appeals against the sanctions from the most popular clubs (hold on to that for a moment).
Poooooooooofffttt!!! Following his mutterings about FKF malevolence, Sony Sugar FC chairman, a senior member of Smokin Jack’s house is BANNED FROM FOOTBALL for six months and anyone who dares to even whisper football to him shall come down like the Biblical Walls of Jericho. KPL house master, Mathare United’s Canadian expatriate Bob Munro, escapes the carnage with a warning after offering his Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa (through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault)! To the ‘Lord’ as he yelled frantically.
Kapooooowwwwww!!!! You thought I was done? Uncle Sam bellowed at Smokin Jack and his crew when they wrapped up what they all hailed a dramatic KPL season, decided on the final day last Saturday, worthy of its own film. Well, El Presidente was only getting started as he fired a triple salvo that left KPL and the whole country in a wounded daze.
BooomBoooom!!! KPL will now be an 18-team not 16-team competition, YOU HEAR!! BooomTwaaafff!!!! Shabana FC and Posta Rangers will join the KPL familia from the Super League, PERIOD!!!
BooomShakarakaBooom!!! You dare relegate Nairobi City Stars? ‘Yes’, a meek Smokin Jack answers from the dungeon he’s been held, ‘They finished second bottom’ SHAME! SHAME! Thunders Uncle Sam, they are NOW fourth from bottom, IS THAT CLEAR!!!! ‘What about last placed Top Fry?’ the now withering Smokin Jack squeals as the vice-like grip around his neck tightens. HAHAHAHAHAHA, IT IS I WHO SAYS!!! DIMWIT!! Pin drop silence as Smokin Jack faints.
-Same script, different cast-
Away from the comic book narrative, the depressing reality is this is a path Nyamweya has trodden before, thriving in chaos to advance his agenda and if the country’s football pays the ultimate price, so be it.
Of course, even KPL should shoulder some blame for embracing his second coming in 2011, in the hope that the decade-long energy and financially sapping battle to be in sole charge of the game since his days as an all powerful KFF secretary general in the late 90s had mellowed him.
The fatal mistake made by all who welcomed his election made as Smokin Jack and his honchos are belatedly realising is Uncle Sam will always be Uncle Sam, the well connected brawler who will spare nothing, including stopping the whole game together if need be, to get what HE wants, he plays the ‘Hand of god’ of Kenya’s football.
His time honoured tactic is to align himself with the ‘community based’ clubs such as champions Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards, Shabana, Kakamega Homeboyz (he’s thrown them a play-off lifeline to KPL) and City Stars to dig his tentacles on grassroots support.
In 2006 at the height of the crazy KFF and KFF-PL parallel top flight leagues, all community teams featured on his side against the corporate outfits that had Mathare United, the only dissenting people driven team in their ranks.
Uncle Sam’s perplexing if not disruptive directives are aimed at maintaining status quo that has no one else but him as the don.
For instance, if his idea of justice stood, why have Shabana, who received a massive boardroom boost of 12, yes 12! points been confirmed to the KPL yet Zoo Kericho, the club established six years ago and won the hearts of many has filed an appeal against their promotion after being docked points?
Yes, Gor and AFC fans can be readmitted to the stadiums pending appeal but Zoo Kericho can toss theirs to the birds, huh! The day is saved, thanks to the Power Puff… sorry Uncle Sam!!!!!
– The tragedy-
With Uncle Sam’s barrel smoking hot, ladies and gentlemen, the Kenyan football Armageddon that thanks to KPL has been saved from oblivion is here with us again.
KPL is the most lucrative arm of football in the country thanks to broadcast sponsors, SuperSport, who have thankfully kept a respectable distance from the crossfire.
It remains to be seen whether KPL members, including the community based sides who are struggling for cash will accept the SuperSport cake to be shared in 18 parts as opposed to 16.
Should they rebel, Uncle Sam will certainly fire the nuclear bomb, NO LEAGUE leading to a stalemate that would deal the catastrophic final blow to the game in a country ranked a lowly 116 in the world especially if SuperSport’s reported contract extension next year fails to materialise.
Of course, the FKF supremo is hell bent on having as many community club cronies in the KPL board as possible to arm-twist the decision making.
If no one remembers days when Kenyan football was deemed worthy enough for fillers in newspapers and cursory mention in round-ups on radio and television, fret not, they are here with us again.
THE END of Season 2, coming up after the commercial break, Season 3 of La Levancha de Keniano Futbol brought to you by…. who would be crazy enough to sponsor such mayhem anyway?