Dialogue needed between Cecafa and FKF
The past two weeks have seen a barrage of attacks with accusations and counter accusations between the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the regional soccer body Cecafa on the hosting of the annual Cecafa senior challenge cup in November.
The ball of contention was the fact that the Cecafa congress granted Kenya the rights to host the tourney in 2012, having hosted it last in 2009. According to the hardworking Cecafa secretary-general, Nicholas Musonye, the sponsors, EABL, wanted the tournament moved to Uganda and the decision was made to hand Uganda the honours of hosting the prestigious regional tourney.
The football federation president Sam Nyamweya, whose statements to the media accused Musonye, who is also a Kenyan, of not being patriotic and fighting to deny Kenya an opportunity. Musonye warned Nyamweya to stop involving Cecafa in constant fights.
The issue has gone out of proportion, with Musonye insisting that the tournament will be hosted by Uganda, who have already embarked on preparations.
There are three sides to this story, the side of Musonye, the side of Nyamweya and the side of the truth. Up till now we have just been treated to a circus of accusations without a middle ground being reached.
I personally feel the latest development does not augur well for the region’s football growth.
I believe both parties need to go to a round table so that they can dialogue sincerely instead of continuing to issue press statements, some of which border on the unprofessional and are sometimes taken out of context by the media, who have also helped to blow the issue out of proportion.
In 2009, when the tournament was held in Kenya, the fan turnout was massively poor with many games being played with less than 70 fans – a bad scenario for any prospective sponsor, who would wish to get value for his money but at the same time Kenya needed to give tangible evidence that they were ready to host the tourney this year by spelling out their plans in a clear document outlining all areas of concern.
For Cecafa, I feel they should also have been bold enough to give Kenya tangible reasons for not allowing them to host the tourney in a good forum, devoid of accusations. Kenya needs Cecafa and Cecafa needs Kenya and at this moment I feel personal egos should be put aside for the good of the game in the region.
This exchange of words should cease immediately and both parties should embrace dialogue to come to a conclusive decision that will be acceptable to all.