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Finally hope for Kenyan soccer

October 29th, 2007 by rsommerseth · 1 Comment

Last conference, at Copenhagen and Play the Game in 2005, Bob Munro told a shocking story about curruption and bad governance in Kenyan soccer.
He concluded with the statement that “now it can only get better”.
He was wrong.
It got a lot worse until it now finally seems to be better for Munro and Kenyan soccer.

Bob Munro at the conference
Bob Munro at the Play the Game conference (Photo: Jon Kristian Fadnes)

Bob Munro has played a key role in the showdown with corruption in the KFF (Kenyan Football Federation) that led to formation in 2003 of the Kenya Premier League by a number of break-away football clubs.
He is chairman for Mathare United and MYSA (Mathare Youth Sports Association), and is a strong critic of the KFF. Returning from Play the Game in 2005, Bob Munroe hoped for a new dawn for the soccer-situation.
In January 2006, an agreement was signed in Cairo between the KFF, the Kenyan Professional League (KPL), club representatives and FIFA under the auspices of the FIFA President, the CAF President and the Kenyan Minister of Sports, in which the Kenyan football family committed to several measures to improve the situation. But the development soon changed dramatically.

Suspended

In October 2006, FIFA decided to suspend KFF. “The agreements have not been respected or only marginally implemented, and that fundamental principles such as the respect of sporting rules, the integrity of competitions, and FIFA’s Statutes, regulations and decisions have been regularly violated or ignored by members of the Kenyan football family”, FIFA wrote on their webpage.

After the suspension the Kenyan Sportsminister Maina Kamanda dissolved the KFF and started the process to depart Bob Munro, blaming him for the suspension.
According to Munro, Mathare United has also had to pay for batteling corruption. Munro tells about unfair referees, important information by the KFF “failing” to reach the club in time and other unfair treatment.

But the attempt to deport the Mathare chairman failed, and Munro got to stay in Kenya. Under his speech Sunday, he thanked the Play the Game community for support, especially Jens Sejer Andersen for his contribution.

Finally hope

In march 2007 Kenya was readmitted by FIFA after a five-month suspension. Things is finally looking better in Kenyan soccer. The opening day at Play the Game Bob Munro praised what he calls “the unsung heroes” in Kenyan soccer.
The other clubs, apart from Mathare United, is more and more joining the battle against curroption, and sports journalists in the country defies threats of being fired and dares to write about bad governance.

Bob Munro finished his speech with underlining why it is so important to fight corruption:
Stealing money is simply wrong. The corruption is stealing the future of the sport and the dignity of Kenya as a country, and most important it is stealing the future from the Kenyan youth and their opportunity to get themselves out of powerty. Stealing their dreams is the worst crime of all, so the fight against corruption must be upheld.

Read an exclusive interview with Bob Munro here.

Tags: Theme: Autonomy of sport

1 response so far ↓

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