NAIROBI, Kenya, February 19- Harambee Stars captain and Southampton FC star, Victor Wanyama has expressed displeasure in the prevailing football stand-off that has put the country on the path of an international Fifa ban.
Wanyama joined other players based locally and abroad through their adopted slogan- as a Kenyan footballer, I’m not happy- with livelihoods of hundreds of domestic players at risk if the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) stalemate persists.
“For the sake of our beloved game, FKF & KPL is time to think about the future generation, players and their family who depend on football to earn a living. Let us unite and speak as one and raise the Kenyan flag into the next level. As a Kenyan international player, am not happy,” the midfield lynchpin and most expensive player in the country’s history when he was sold to Southampton from Scottish champions Celtic for 10 million pounds (Sh1.4b) posted on his Twitter handle.
“As Kenyan footballer I’m not happy #GIVEUSOURGAMEBACK,” Stars first choice keeper Arnold Origi also wrote on the same forum.
“Someone between KPL and FKF needs to lower their PRIDE for the sake of the future of Kenyan Football. Many depend on it for a living,” Stars midfielder and Sofapaka star Clifton Miheso added.
With Kenyan football torn apart by the infighting over the composition and running of the 2015 domestic Premier League, the country is staring at a FIFA ban for the third time in her history meaning Origi and his national teammates as well as all those players plying their trade in local clubs face a bleak future.
The last time Kenya was in this dire situation was in 2006 when the defunct Football Kenya Federation (KFF) chairman Alfred Sambu barred Kenyan Premier League (KPL) from running the league as this would be a violation of the KFF constitution.
The standoff saw the world football governing body suspend the country from international football for failing to fulfil an agreement made to resolve recurrent problems in the federation.
Kenya is eagerly waiting to see what action Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Arts and Culture Dr Hassan Wario will take after giving both parties a Wednesday deadline to resolve the matter internally.
But with talks having collapsed after KPL walked off the meeting for the second time; a series of repercussions follows next even as players, referees and coaches stand to lose from the fight.
Some of the consequences that could follow after the stalemate is the minister disbanding FKF and constitute an interim committee or ban KPL and this will attract FIFA sanction for government interference.
The warring factions seem not to be bothered by the repercussions with both parties burying their heads in the sand by vowing to go on with their respective leagues.
“We failed to agree because we have never known why we are required have18 teams and why it must be done now and no one has given us an explanation on it. We have contractual obligations with our sponsor SuperSport that we must honor so we are going on with our league on Saturday,” KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier declared on Wednesday after they walked off the FKF meeting.
On their part, the federation maintained… “We will have an FKF premier league on course that will go on from this weekend; we will replace those clubs who will not have confirmed by Thursday. FIFA will not allow two leagues; they will only recognize a league that is sanctioned by FKF and CAF,” Nyamweya stated.
Nyamweya has moved fast to stamp his authority after the 14 KPL clubs failed to honour his deadline to confirm their participation in the FKF league by inviting 14 Super League sides to be on standby to replace the clubs.
Both sides not only failed to agree on the format of the league where FKF insisted on the 18 team whilst KPL maintained on 16 but there was also the contentious issue on the broadcast sponsor.
KPL declined FKF’s proposal of introducing MP & Silva Sports Media saying they have to honor their contact that they signed with broadcast rights holders SuperSport.
Kenya faced her first ban in 2004 when FIFA suspended the country from all football activities for three months, due to government interference.
#IMNOTHAPPY SAMPLE POSTS
JOHN BARAZA (SOFAPAKA FC): If Nelson Mandela could sit down with the guyz who treated him inhumanly in South Africa and be able to come up with a way forward for his nation, then why not u hardliners (FKF vs KPL) Kenya is watching. Chest thumping will take us nowhere.
JAMES SITUMA (TUSKER FC): Only in Kenya when born a football player turns out suicidal, celebrity on the screen and poverty always at your door step. #Asafootballplayerinkenyaaimnothappy.
DENNIS WISE OKOTH (NAIROBI CITY STARS): I am Not Happy FKF/KPL,you guys are selfish
FELLY MULUMBA (SOFAPAKA FC CAPTAIN): As a Football Player in KENYA I’m Not happy. Plz GOD help
JACOB KELI ( AFC LEOPARDS): ALMOST EVERYONE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT KENYA FOOTBALL MANAGEMENT INCLUDING ME WHATS HAPPENING SURELY EEEEIIIIISH BUANNAAAAAA JAMAA YOU ARE KILLING TALENTS. AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA AM NOT HAPPY
RAMA SALIM (COASTAL UNION): As a player n a fan #iamnothappy
DENNIS NZOMO (TUSKER FC): AS A FOOTBALLER PLAYER IN KENYA I AM NOT HAPPY
BRIAN OSUMBA (TUSKER FC): AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA AM NOT HAPPY
WILSON OBUNGU (BANDARI FC CAPTAIN): AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA..AM NOT HAPPY…
ABOUD OMAR (TUSKER FC): AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA AM N0T HAPPY
INNOCENT MUTISO (GOR MAHIA): AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA I AM NOT HAPPY!!!
JESSE WERE (TUSKER FC): AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER IN KENYA AM NOT HAPPY
GEORGE ‘BLACKBERRY’ ODHIAMBO (GOR MAHIA): AS A KENYAN FOOTBALLER AM NOT HAPPY
MIKE KHAMATI (AFC LEOPARDS): As a Kenyan footballer and a lover of the game, #IamNotHappy
NOAH WAFULA (AFC LEOPARDS): As a footballer in Kenya am not happy
PAUL KIONGERA (KCB): As a football player in this country….am not happy
TITUS WAMALWA (AFC LEOPARDS): As a Kenyan footballer, I a’m not happy
TIMOTHY OTIENO (GOR MAHIA): As a footballer in Kenya with great dreams am not happy.