Kiss and make up
Dear Sam and Nicholas, indulge me for the next three minutes if you will, because I have something on my mind that is disturbing me and you are the only two who can help. As chairman of Football Kenya Limited Sam, you should be the most respected football manager in the country. As you read this; I urge you to ask yourself if you think you are.
Nicholas, as secretary general of Cecafa, you are in such a senior position of football management regionally and you should also be a highly respected individual. Are you? Both of you are in positions that could revolutionalise football in Kenya but I feel you are falling short on that because you are focusing on not getting along with each other instead of on building the beautiful game.
Yes Sam you are still aggrieved by the fact that Nicholas almost singlehandedly decided to yank the upcoming Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup from Kenya and take it to Uganda, but you have made your case to the Congress and to CAF, and I believe it is being dealt with. So can we move on already! Verbally you have moved on by saying Kenya will stop fighting the issue; but when I see all the press releases from you about Nicholas; it’s clear that you are still angry with him.
If it’s not the venue it’s the new dates being proposed for CHAN; if it’s not the dates, it’s the fact that Nicholas said Kenyans like to sit in bars and watch European football instead of going to the stadium. As much as that comment was uncalled for; sadly it was and still is true. Apart from when Gor, AFC or Harambee Stars are playing; where are the fans? Nicholas you have not helped the situation. I am personally aggrieved that you moved Cecafa to Uganda and I’m with Sam on that; but I won’t let it define my relationship with Cecafa.
You too though have been engaging with Sam and national team coach Henri Michel through the media and I think you should be above that. If I answered every critic on social media I would never work. You should keep your eye on the prize, which is organising the Cecafa tournaments and growing regional football.
In the same breath Sam, please don’t let Michel get involved in your issues with Nicholas; allow him to focus on what he was hired to do.
Back to Mr M; my beef with you was when you said in a rather derogatory manner that Cecafa doesn’t need Kenya to succeed. Perhaps, but I would like to remind you that you are Kenyan first and Cecafa Secretary General second. Just like me and the Gor fan sitting across from me here in the office, we all have a responsibility as Kenyans towards Kenyan football.
Your Cecafa job will end at some point but you will always be Kenyan. I know you organise two great tournaments each year but I challenge you to say how it has developed regional football? Countries from the region barely make it to Afcon and, when they do we win one game if we’re lucky. Now if we’re lucky Uganda might qualify for Afcon2013 but that really is because of what their federation has been doing over several years.
Does Cecafa really improve the standards of football in this country or is it just a tournament to watch and gauge how great you are in a region of poor quality national football? It’s not your fault alone but you do need to engage with all federations to make East African football respected on the continent.
To both of you; you do not have to fight all your battles in the media to the point where Corporate Kenya gets put off because “there is always wrangling”.
How about one of you decides to be the bigger man and picks up the phone and calls the other for coffee? How about you talk out all your issues as professionals and release a joint statement to the media saying that all your issues have been resolved. I would be so proud of you both.
To sign off I want to teach both of you a new word that might do wonders if you adopt it – humility. A little of it goes a long way.