Winnie Odinga suggests Mariga, Wanyama head Kenyan football, Kenyans react
Winnie Odinga, one of Kenya’s newly elected Member of Parliament in the East African Legislative Assembly and the youngest daughter of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance’s 2022 presidential aspirant Raila Odinga, was of the opinion that Kenyan football bodies should be headed by career footballers and not otherwise.
On November 24, 2022, she made her sentiments known in the wake of the ongoing 2022 World Cup where she noted that Cameroonian football great Samuel Eto’o was following his country’s performance as the President of the Cameroon Football Federation.
“Seeing Samuel Eto’o watching his country play in the World Cup as the President of the Football Federation makes me believe even more that our former starts should be leading our Football organs.
(McDonald)Mariga should come transfer the skills he and Victor (Wanyama) learned from Noah (Wanyama, a renowned footballer, former Harambee Stars player and former AFC Leopards coach. He is also the father of the brothers),” said Winnie Odinga.
The brothers- Mariga and Wanyama- have extensive careers in football from humble beginnings in Kenya to playing in international matches for various clubs.
Mariga started out at Tusker FC, Ulinzi Stars, Kenya Pipeline and Harambee Stars before going on to play for foreign teams including Inter Milan, Enköpings SK, Helsingborgs IF, Parma, Internazionale, Real Sociedad, Latina, Real Oviedo and Cuneo Calcio.
On the other hand Wanyama played for Nairobi City Stars, AFC Leopards, Helsingborg, Beerschot, Celtic, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and CF Montréal, where he currently plays.
Winnie Odinga’s sentiments elicited mixed reactions as seen below:
“That is an elective post. Do you know what that means?” asked Swamukonya to which Winnie responded by saying, “He’s in UDA who should support and we will also support him politically. This is Kenya, siasa kando (let’s put politics aside).”
“You can’t put Samuel Eto’o on the same level as Mariga and Victor. Eto’o played for Premier top clubs and well respected…so please don’t put our two Kenyan bros in the same level as Eto’o,” said Mama Pendo.
“I don’t know why Mariga keeps running for the wrong office with the wrong people all the time. Dude should be championing football in our country,” said Chris Jakompyuta in reference to Mariga’s attempts to break into politics but keeps floundering in elections.
“I love your sportsmanship character. Though Mariga identifies himself with a different political outfit from you, you found it fit to use him as an example. I have respected you for that,” added Munji Muchiri.
“This is what we need to do as a country if we want to progress in football matters. Nick Mwendwa (embattled President of Football Kenya Federation) said we don’t have talents here in Kenya and we are well with that,” laughed Gideon Mutethia.
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