Nairobi News


Sam Nyamweya urges government to intervene in Bandari’s Mapinduzi Cup woes

By Mercy Simiyu December 23rd, 2023 2 min read

Football Kenya Federation’s (FKF) move to bar Bandari from competing at the annual Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar has elicited mixed reactions.

The federation turned down the top-flight club’s request to grace the annual tournament on the premise that it will affect the ongoing FKF Premier League season.

In his response, former FKF president Sam Nyamweya, in a letter to Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, explained football stakeholders were ‘deeply concerned’ by the move and urged the senior government to intervene and allow the Coastal side grace the tournament.

“The actions (to deny Bandari a chance to compete at the tournament) are overly cautious and have a negative impact on the club and its players,” argued Nyamweya, who is gunning for a comeback ahead of the FKF polls in 2024.

“This was a moment for Bandari to try their new signings and prepare for the second phase of the league season.”

He added: “The federation should have taken more diplomatic measures to address the concerns, and see the team participate in the tournament. This decision will also have long-term implications for future sports events and collaborations between East African countries. They contend that the withdrawal of Bandari FC from the Mapinduzi Cup could be perceived as a lack of trust and confidence in the host country’s ability to ensure the safety and security of visiting teams, potentially affecting the willingness of other countries to participate in future events. This is a spat on the face of the East African Community call for integration.”

Earlier, Bandari vice-chairman Twaha Mbaraka told Nairobi News the decision by FKF could deny his side an opportunity to expose his team on the continent.

Bandari in early December landed an invite to compete in this competition, which has attracted some star teams from Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, at the refurbished Amaani Stadium.

This annual tournament, which is held to commemorate Revolution Day in the island country, is set to take place between December 28 to January 13, 2024.

The tournament organisers had pooled Bandari against Tanzanian giants Yanga SC, hosts KVZ and Burundian Bigwigs Vital ‘O’.

Following a last-gasp loss to Gor Mahia on December 23, Bandari are currently ranked sixth on the league standings with 26 points from 16 matches.

Thus, Bandari will potentially miss out on the possibility of competing against some of the seasoned teams in the region including Tanzanian sides Simba SC Azam, and Singida Big Stars, hosts Chipukizi, Mlandege and Jamhuri, plus tax collectors Uganda Revenue Authority, managed by former international David Obua.

It is the second time inside as many months that FKF have failed to sanction a friendly involving a Kenyan side and a team from the region.

In November 2023, FKF stopped a friendly pitting Gor Mahia against Azam FC in Nairobi.