In a sombre revelation, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa recently addressed the disheartening news that football clubs in the current season will be devoid of the customary prize-giving.
Mwendwa attributed this unfortunate development to the absence of sponsors, a direct consequence of the government's actions.
The financial landscape looks bleak as Mwendwa acknowledged the lack of funds plaguing the organization.
The departure of sponsors, driven by external factors, has left the FKF in a precarious situation.
With no financial resources at their disposal, the FKF finds itself unable to provide prize money for the clubs.
As a result, the anticipated prize-giving ceremonies, which have been an integral part of football seasons, will be noticeably absent this season.
"No, there is no money, where is the money going to come from. All the sponsors were shacked away by that government. We don’t have any money to give anybody," Mwendwa said.
"The season will not have any prize-giving. This was a rescue season, no prize-giving no, no prize money because there’s no sponsor."
The FKF President expressed regret that they won't be able to adequately reward their hard work and achievements during this season.
However, Mwendwa remains optimistic, assuring stakeholders that the FKF is diligently working on a plan that will elevate the clubs' fortunes in the near future.
Although he couldn't disclose specific details at the time, he emphasized that the FKF is working on a comprehensive strategy that will bring significant improvements in the seasons to come.
While grappling with financial challenges, Mwendwa expressed determination to overcome the obstacles and ensure a brighter future for clubs.
The upcoming season, slated to commence in August and conclude in May, offers an opportunity to reset and refocus efforts on revitalizing Kenyan football.
"But how are we tackling that? Is that we are packaging, something that is way superior than ever before and this club will smile the next season. I can tell you, I cannot speak about the details right now," the FKF president said.
"What we are working on is something that will make this clubs be very happy with what now we will do from August because now, our season is going to start in August. August to May will be the standard season."
Mwendwa emphasized the importance of starting the season on the right foot, pledging to prioritize broadcasting, sponsors, and financial support for clubs.
With a renewed emphasis on order, club licensing, and other essential components that were previously lacking, the FKF aims to instil professionalism and stability within the sport.
Mwendwa did mention the possibility of organizing a gala event if a sponsor can be secured, albeit without a guarantee.
Another significant challenge arises from the lack of proper data collection and statistical analysis.
Mwendwa admitted that these vital components had been neglected, making it difficult to accurately select the best players and track league performance.
Previously, a committee was responsible for tracking the league and presenting monthly awards, but due to intervening circumstances, those processes have been disrupted.
"You know, we might try if there’s a sponsor to try and do some gala event but really we have an even been collecting the statistics properly. We haven’t’ done…so even select the best players is issue because that hasn’t been done there used to be a committee as you know that was doing that job and was tracking the league," Mwendwa said.
Despite the challenges, Mwendwa maintained an optimistic outlook and regarded the current situation as a blessing in disguise, offering valuable lessons for the future.
Mwendwa emphasized the importance of non-interference in sponsorships and reaffirmed the need to keep football at the centre stage.
"I actually think this was a blessing in disguise because we all know now what we need to do. We all know don’t interfere, we all know you know leaves sponsors alone, we all know the football must be in the pitch, we all know now. These things we didn’t know before," he added.
The setbacks experienced this season have provided the FKF and stakeholders with a newfound understanding of what is required to propel Kenyan football forward.
Despite the challenges, Mwendwa viewed the current circumstances as a learning experience, highlighting the need for improved financial stability and professionalism within the sport.
Nevertheless, the absence of prize-giving ceremonies will undoubtedly sting for the clubs and their players.