After every major tournament, the organising committee breaks down everything into figures for purposes of accountability and as a yardstick for the next hosts to improve on.
Of course that happens in tournaments organised by sane people, and it is from this discretion that we now know just how many eggs were consumed by the athletes during the Athens Olympics.
On the same premise, by counting the used condoms we know at least how many instances of ‘safe sex’ took place in the Athletes’ Village during the London Olympics.
These may seem to be trifles but their importance cannot be gainsaid.
Kenya just hosted the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup and you shall know nothing about such statistics even if you scream to the high heavens.
Thou shalt not discern what took place nor get the facts of the tournament — not because the local football governing body, Football Kenya Federation (FKF), does not want you to know but because FKF itself does not have any such information.
They are in the Dark Ages where literal night reigns and they are wearing dark glasses in that gloom; all that is visible about them are the smiles and laughter that exposes their fangs. They are a scary lot indeed!
It’s a national embarrassment that the teams that participated in the Senior Challenge found themselves in hotel ‘prisons’ because of unpaid bills; we still do not know how the likes of Zanzibar, South Sudan and Sudan managed to ‘escape’ to freedom; those are trifles to our indefatigable bunglers.
But, even before the dust has settled on the poorly organised tournament, FKF boss Sam Nyamweya thumbs his chest with simulated strength and crows about Kenya bidding to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
In a Press release dated December 13, he clearly indicates that he is ready to send Kenya’s bid to host the continental championship.
And while he hogged the limelight from the national team, at State House on the President’s invitation to tea, he said: “Kenya is planning a bid for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations but, before that, we shall place a bid for the continental Under-17 championship, this coming from the experience we have had from (hosting) Cecafa championships.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta sat staring at the man with a bemused expression. Sam Nyamweya’s words did ring true and possible.
Kenyans want such a thing to happen on our soil but, apparently, ‘Uncle Sam’ was only laying a thick lie. He now plans to bid for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when the deadline for bids was November 25, 2013!
GOOFS AND BLUNDERS
We are used to goofs and blunders from FKF, and we may pretend to forgive Nyamweya for taking the President for a ride, but what we cannot forgive is the fact that the FKF boss does not know that the deadline for presenting bids had passed a month ago.
Does Nyamweya have an inkling of an idea that even the U-17 championship has a deadline for the submission of bids? Was he double-dealing Kenyans at State House or was he just baring his ineptitude to the entire world?
And while Nyamweya was busy rumbling profane balderdash, his highly respected Zambian counterpart, Kalusha Bwalya, was already one step ahead.
A tweet by the former Zambian great, currently the country’s FA chief, on November 25 read: “I am pleased to say Zambia has successfully presented its 2019 Afcon bid this afternoon in Cairo. I am glad we made the deadline.”
In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the sports minister, Banza Mukalay, is quoted as saying by Cafonline: “The DR Congo is an applicant for the candidates [to host] the 2019 Afcon tournament. I put the dossier into the hands of Fecofa [Congolese football federation], which has already passed it on to Caf.”
Both countries made the deadline in presenting their bids for Afcon 2019 and they made the information available to the Press.
But here in Kenya, the FKF boss shamelessly misinforms the President of the Republic and the entire nation that we are about to present our bid, one month late!
Kalusha Bwalya tweeted on the deadline day while good old Sam forks out a press release on December 13 and later, in State House, after ogling the presidential limelight, belches his bid — and does so after gaining ‘experience’ while hosting the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
Many other countries — including Gabon, Nigeria, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia — are contending for the same honours and they did not pass wind about their bids; they really presented their bids to the relevant body.
In comparison to what happens in other countries, the jua kali management of our football comes out very clearly. For instance, in 1996 Kenya actually presented and won the bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations and immediately our legendary malaise took over.
We did not have to play the qualifiers since we were going to be the hosts anyway.
The Caf inspection team came to the country several times to see just how much progress we had made in laying the infrastructure, and the shame it brought unto us still makes our faces hot.
All the stadia were in a dilapidated state. In several of them, livestock were grazing on the overgrown turf, complete with thorns. It was a disaster!
We were on the brink of sabotaging the championship that year when South Africa stepped forward and hosted it. As a result, we ceded our participation in the tournament, which the new hosts duly went on to clinch. Building from that experience, South Africa later bid and hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
We, on the other hand, learnt nothing from that infamy. We blamed lack of funds, just as a few days ago we blamed lack of funds.
Very soon we shall, again, blame lack of funds. It is our darling mantra and it twists the lips of the FKF boss in the most congenial manner when he says “Lack of funds.”
As we wait patiently for the belated Kenyan bid, to Nyamweya the patriotic football lovers in Kenya say: “Ave Magna Sam, Morituri te salutant!” Those who are about to die salute you.