By Evans Oduor,
After the latest Harambee stars match against Ethiopia where Kenya failed to qualified again to a continental soccer tournament as usual, it got me thinking was there a future in Kenyan football? And if yes when was the salvation coming because Kenya is a football mad nation and the fans /supporter hope are running out very first. This can be explained by some comments for some local fans within the stadium during the Ethiopia match that Harambee stars was former president Moi slogan and it went to retirement with him even suggesting that better to change the name of the national team in future those sentiments were echoed by many across the board .
The national team has showed little of its starlight in this performance cause it has played little effect on African and having never qualified for FIFA world cup finals only reduced to a feeder country of many football clubs in European clubs notable are Dennis Oliech former captain and top scorer of the team Macdonald Mariga and current captain Victor Wanyama whom all have featured for the UEFA Champion league. The future of Kenyan soccer is hanging by the neck from the suicidal ropes praying to God that nobody push the chair as we wait for it to die a slow and painful death ,leaving us with only memories of the past for the likes of Joe Kadenge how was arguably Kenya most accomplished player for the 1960,Mohammed Abbas best Kenyan goalkeeper, Jose Masiga ,million dollar man Bobby Ogolla and Peter Dawo who scored 10 goals as Gor mahia tom become the East and Central African nation to lift the continental cup.
The only thing to remember would be tribal element of the soccer rivalry in the local scene of the past which gave rise to the mighty Gor mahia and abaluhya fc (AFC Leopard) cause Kenya made debut in the nation cup 1972 and qualified overall for five times but never proceed further than round 1, many would give various reason for the dismal performances by stars, some which stand out is the poor management the football leadership derailed by the myopic self seeking leadership which to my own opinion should change and give way for other to try out. Have use the word try out intentional cause and don’t full believe that even changing the management will do as much change a believe is the same script different cast scenario , they may be many underline fact the need to the address first for the like youth development and grooming of the young talent
A have a solution from the football stakeholder to kill all the birds with one stone, If all factor remain constant one thing need to change this is the social lifestyle aspect, we need to re introduce the culture of playing back to our youth who have been captured by the technology, this can only be done by Kenya to bid and host major or global soccer showpiece in the coming future e.g. African cup of nation, CAF under 21, 17 and 23 competitions, CAF champion leagues, CAF confederation cup, CAF Beach soccer championship and even the an imaginable FIFA world cup, by hosting this competition will bring back the euphoria which comes with these games. When growing up we use to emulate ongoing events and we would do and play like the role model we see in TV example after or even during and Olympic game children would come out and run in the neighbourhood just like the athletes, some would even cut their hair or even dress like them , giving rise to more interest ,the government would step up and provide for playing facilitates like Gabon spent an estimated $500 million on stadium and infrastructure despite them being tiny in comparisons to host of other major tournament like china who spent an estimated $42 billion on the 2008 Olympic. Local football management would be on the global telescope and nobody would not wish to mess up and hold on the responsibility
The most important is want the tournament will leaves us with a more improved infrastructure expanded airport better stadium and the enthusiasm which will back the children back to the ground Case example is Bafana bafana for south Africa a little know country by hosted the African nation cup in 1996 and two year later qualified for France world cup in 1988, other example is Senegal who recent improvement is due to the hosting for the African continent’s showpiece even Angola is a perfect example host of AFCON 2010 living a legacy of football in infrastructure, the list can go on and on. Hope the government and football federation would consider this in their master plan.