CARDOVILLIS: From AK suspensions to Stars’ woes in Addis; Kenyan sport in deep crisis

By: SEAN CARDOVILLIS

‘Shockingly, whilst Harambee Stars were stumbling through their latest crisis, FKF boss Sam Nyamweya claimed that he is the still the right man to run Kenyan football, adding that most of the contestants have worked under him for a long time and have nothing to offer’

Where do we start this week? It has been a dramatic last seven days, and unfortunately none of the news has been good.

From the suspension of three top Athletics Kenya officials, to Harambee Stars in disarray in Ethiopia, there is no doubt that Kenya sport is in a deep crisis.

SPORT IN CRISIS

Questions have been asked about why the Cabinet Secretary for Sports Dr Hassan Wario travelled to Ethiopia to watch the Harambee Stars/Rwanda Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup match, with him failing to attend a dinner party hosted for the national football team by the Kenyan Embassy in Addis Ababa on Tuesday evening.

Dr Wario had gone to stem unrest within the squad arising from the delayed payment of the players’ allowances, but for some reason he failed to deliver on his promise to the players in the dressing room of settling any outstanding balance.

By: the way missing from the dinner was Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Catherine Mwangi, who was at another official function along her Deputy Aggrey Shitsama, who was unwell, while present were Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Micheal Esakwa, Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch and embassy officials.

On the pitch, Stars coach Bobby Williamson blamed the press for unsettling the team ahead of the quarter-final clash; and this followed reports of three members of the playing unit and an official allegedly drinking on the Friday night at an entertainment joint in Hawassa city hours after the team suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Zanzibar.

UNPAID BILLS

As if that wasn’t enough, national team manager Willis Waliaula on Thursday remained detained at the team’s hotel in Addis Ababa over unpaid bills.

The team’s hotel expenses were catered for by Cecafa, with the extra numbers sent to Ethiopia by the Federation paid for by the latter.

However it later emerged that Federation CEO Michael Esakwa left Addis Ababa before paying the pending extra hotel bills, thus forcing the team manager Waliaula to be detained by the hotel until the balance was settled.

In the confusion, Waliaula resigned in a huff.

As usual this latest issue exposed the tit-for-tat between the FKF and the government, with the former claiming that the accrued bill of six extra members of the Harambee Stars team had been settled by 10 am on Thursday.

However a copy of a receipt indicates that the Ministry of Sports paid the bill at 1pm.

Shockingly, whilst Harambee Stars were stumbling through their latest crisis, FKF President Sam Nyamweya claimed that he is the still the right man to run Kenyan football, adding that most of the contestants have worked under him for a long time and have nothing to offer.

Every week we the public thinks football cannot sink any lower, so let’s see what the forthcoming few weeks dishes out as the FKF elections take centre stage.

ATHLETICS IN TURMOIL

In what was a surprise but not too much of a surprise, depending on which way you look at it, the head of Athletics Kenya (AK) and two senior colleagues were this week suspended over allegations of corruption and subverting anti-doping procedures as the sport seeks to clean up its tarnished image.

AK boss Isaiah Kiplagat, vice-president David Okeyo and former treasurer Joseph Kinyua were each been suspended for 180 days after the committee found there was sufficient evidence to launch investigations, and they are accused of ‘potential subversion of the anti-doping control process in Kenya’ and ‘potential improper diversion from Athletics Kenya of funds received from the Kenya team’s clothing sponsor Nike’, according to an IAAF statement.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION