Shabana FC patron Sam Nyamweya praises Tanzania’s Simba, vows to improve Kenyan football
Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya has reiterated his desire to improve the standards of the game.
Nyamweya, who doubles up as the patron of FKF Premier League side Shabana FC, is among a number of candidates who have declared their intent to contest for the top football seat in the forthcoming elections, slated for February 2024.
The veteran administrator is eyeing a comeback after relinquishing his seat to the incumbent in 2015 without a fight. Prior to that, he had been at the helm between 2011 and 2015 and is remembered for his behind-the-scenes success in Kenya’s triumph at the 2013 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup staged in Kenya.
In an interview with Nairobi News, Nyamweya said he was keen to emulate the successes currently witnessed in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s top club Simba SC on October 20, 2023, played out to a 2-2 draw with African giants Al Ahly, in the opening match of the Africa Football League. The glittering event was graced by thousands of fans, including Fifa president Gianni Infantino, his Caf counterpart Patrice Motsepe, and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
“The superb display by Simba not only showed that the East African region was taking huge strides in regards to the number one sport but also confirmed that Kenyan football is struggling and needs proper management,” observed Nyamweya.
“During my time (as FKF boss), Tanzania was no march for Kenya, we were rated as the best team in the African region and could not be compared to them even a mile”
“But with FKF elections set for February 2024, I want to assure Kenyans that they should not lose hope because there is light at the end of the tunnel. In my return to office, I will make sure that Kenya regains its lost glory as the best footballing nation in the East African region.”
Nyamweya explained that Kenyan clubs struggle on the continental front owing to a lack of planning.
“Our clubs are simply struggling because we don’t have a competitive league. Tanzania’s league is way better than ours and if you look at the Simba squad against Al Ahly, the starting XI had more than six foreign players. That clearly shows you that Simba is attractive because of their well-organized league and it will be one of my tasks to work closely with my team to turn Kenya’s top-flight fortunes into the best in Africa.”
Kenyan clubs have consistently struggled on the continent.
This season, Kakamega Homeboyz failed to negotiate through the first hurdle in their debut season in the Caf Confederation Cup, losing 5-1 on aggregate to Libyan side Al Hilal.
Gor Mahia meanwhile, were disqualified from competing in the Caf Champions League after the tournament organised banned the Kenyan champions owing to a pay dispute involving the former players.