Football Kenya Federation (FKF) officials celebrated their third year in office on Sunday with president Nick Mwendwa expressing his ups and downs during his tenure that has seen him occupy the office for 1,097 days.
With a year to go to the end of his first term, Mwendwa has already declared intensions to defend his position and feels he has changed the face of the sport since taking over, despite the numerous challenges he has faced.
One of the key challenge facing the federation is lack of sponsorships, which has seen a number of stakeholders point a finger at the federation chiefs for not being able to attract corporates, despite football being the country’s most popular sport.
“Local corporates must know that football is a massive tool for marketing and embrace the sport. There is no office I haven’t visited in search of sponsorships. We have sent so many proposals and never got any response in some cases, what else can we do?” posed Mwendwa.
He added: “If it’s about accountability, there is no FKF office that has been accountable more than us. We have so far passed three Fifa audits and the world governing body has full confidence in us and that is why they normally use us as a reference point in women’s football in Africa and even recently donated Sh100 million for a women’s mentorship programme.”
On the issues of club licensing and failure to host Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) in 2018, Mwendwa said failure to stage the continental showpiece, whose bid was won by his predecessor, was not his fault.
“We cannot bid to host any continental event again before we have the facilities in place. By the time we were expected to host the 2018 CHAN, Kasarani was the only facility that met some of the required standards, so it’s not our fault, the government just has to build stadia that meet the Confederation of African Football (CAF) standards,” Mwendwa said.
He added: “We inherited a lot of debts. Last week, I was at Fifa headquarters in Zurich to appeal against paying former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche Sh60 million for wrongful dismissal during the previous regime. Another Harambee Stars coach Bobby Williamson is also currently at the labour court seeking Sh50 million in salary arrears.”