NAIROBI, October 2 – Deputy President, William Ruto reiterated poor management of football has ruined the sport as Harambee Stars plummeted 15 places in the latest FIFA rankings .
Ruto, was speaking on Thursday night when he presided over cash-strapped AFC Leopards’ fundraiser in Nairobi where the club raised Sh4.5m (USD43, 000.48) to cater for players and technical bench salary arrears.
President, Uhuru Kenyatta donated Sh1m (USD 9,555.662) while Ruto, who was the guest of honour, was the highest contributor, with Sh2m (USD19,111.32) in a ceremony attended by Bungoma Governor, Ken Lusaka and his Vihiga counterpart Moses Akaranga.
Also in attendance was Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa who gave Sh100, 000 (USD 957.951) while club patron, Cyrus Jirongo contributed Sh500, 000 (USD 4,789.78).
“Bad management in the beautiful game has killed talent and put the livelihoods of millions to waste. I urge Kenyans with interest in football, passion for success and experience to step forward and manage the affairs of football in the country.
“With good professional management, football can join other sports in putting Kenya in the international map. It will also give a livelihood to many youths.
“After all there is no greater sport in the world than football. Glad to join friends of AFC Leopards to raise funds for the club’s empowerment programme,” Ruto, who expressed similar sentiments when he opened Nairobi’s Camp Toyoyo in August, declared.
Football Kenya Federation under the leadership of president Sam Nyamweya has been heavily criticised for slapstick management after Stars were bundled out of the 2015 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers by minnows Lesotho last year.
The team that is ranked 131 in the world, is yet to register victory in the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers after drawing 1-1 away to Congo Brazzaville before losing 2-1 at home to Zambia.
Leopards are also affected by poor leadership with two factions fighting to be in charge, something that has thrown the club into disarray as the season draws to a close.
On Wednesday, interim Secretary General, Professor, Asava Kadima became the latest official to resign, joining chairman Allan Kasavuli and Organising Secretary, Tmothy Lilumbi as top executives to quit.
The 2015 season has been financially challenging for Ingwe after shirt sponsors Mumias Sugar withdrew leading to mass exodus of key players led by keeper, Wycliffe Kasaya during the June transfer window.
This forced the club to stretch it begging bowl to well wishers for their first fundraiser in June where they collected Sh5.5m (USD52,682.30)
Leopards owe players who opted to stay like skipper, Jackson Saleh, as well as head coach, Zdravko Logarusic four months in salary and bonus arrears with new players who joined in June demanding three months dues.
Ingwe who were tipped to fight for the crown have staggered to sixth in the SportPesa Premier League on 38 points and left with only the GOtv Shield to chase after Tusker bundled them out of the KPL Top 8.