Siasa ndogo ndogo is killing our football

George Odhiambo of Gor Mahia shields the ball away from Eugene Asike of Tusker FC during the super cup match at Afraha stadium in Nakuru. Photo: Kipsang Joseph

My football prophetic tongue has never let me down. In 2016, I foretold a sad  future for our soccer. This was largely informed by the kind of leadership we had put in office to manage the game.

I particularly had issues with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Nick Mwendwa and his bullishness. Nick will dismiss any opinion but his.

In January this year, I predicted that Kenyans were going to experience the worst soccer in 2017. See, my fears have were confirmed when SuperSport announced their decision to quit screening our top league.

Let us not be fooled by the improved Fifa standings. That adds nothing in the eyes of keen observers. In any case, Harambe Stars' coach Stanley Okumbi has become the ‘king of friendlies.’

There is no point winning most of the friendly matches, but losing important qualifier matches. Stars are like students who do well in continuous assessment tests (CATS) but flop badly in the real exam.

Apart from the Harambee Stars façade, our weekends are not the same any more. FKF has this year ensured that Nairobians neither watch local games live nor on TV. They have forced us to change our lifestyles. We are right into the first quarter, yet many football lovers in the city are yet to see how good or bad their new signings are.

There are no pitches to stage Nairobi matches. What a pity to a city that pretends to be the commercial hub of eastern Africa. Poor foresight is what you call the fact that nobody in Kenyan soccer saw that the World Junior Athletics Championships would be held in Nairobi. The effect is the closure of City Stadium, Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums, all at the same time.

Another major setback is the recent decision by SuperSport to terminate its agreement with Kenyan Premier League (KPL). This has made matters worse for SportPesa, the league's major sponsor. Their visibility has been reduced, yet their rate of sponsorship is pegged on the number of games aired and the reach of transmission.

In terms of following soccer, Kenyan fans will experience the worst season ever. No live games across the city and no TV screening. We are reaping the fruits of siasa ndogo ndogo in our football.

It’s time KPL and FKF put aside their supremacy wars and focused on the common good that is our football.

And what about lost revenues? Where I come from, they say that, “ When a bull is slaughtered in a thin man’s home, everybody rushes there, including the village madmen.”

Now that SuperSport is out of the way, the knives are out ready for the slaughter. Other pay TV channels, including jua kali ones, are converging for the kill.

Whoever said nature abhors a vacuum was indeed right. As for now, I hear that SuperSport has packed its bags and are headed for Zambia, a great soccer destination. In any case, Kalusha Bwalya would not allow their soccer to be taken away from ‘real footballers’ the way it has happened in Kenya. Somebody should help me tell FKF to bring back our football.