BY PAUL OMBATI | Wakajuaness.Com
“Albeit the tournament being held on our own land, we have to depend on Live Score apps and fellow fans attending the matches for match updates.” ~ Paul Ombati
It has now become shameful, painful and stressfull to be a fan of Kenyan football. Our pride, patriotism, fanaticism and relentless support is fading away to a point nobody can ignore.
It’s painful that we can afford to lose hosting rights for a very important tournament like CHAN. It hurts that we cannot market our local football to international levels such that at this era, we fail to take part in competitive competitions like AFCON.
We have now been made to sit and watch such tournaments from our sofa sets and bedsitters, we have been forced to choose other countries to support in tournaments.
The only competition we can now participate in is CECAFA because the qualification process is by virtue of our territorial boundaries.
That aside, having had the chance to host the ongoing CECAFA tournament, drama has not ended. We appreciate that the Warriors have qualified for the finals and hopefully they will emerge winners.
However, it’s funny that the tournament is being held on our land, but we have to depend on Live Score apps and fellow fans (save for the fact that they are able to attend matches) for match updates.
It’s self-explanatory that not everybody can attend the matches physically. The later may have to depend on the media to be updated on the ongoings, which is normal and understandable.
What was witnessed during the semi-finals of CECAFA must never happen again by all means especially to any patriotic football fan.
Millions of kenyan football fans failed to watch their national team play, reason being failure of live coverage. That should be shameful, that in the 21st century, with the Digitalisation of media, a die-hard fan of the national team can fail to watch the game because the chanel tasked to broadcast the match is covering live proceedings in parliament.
Azam Tv had the rights to cover the whole tournament but since not all Kenyans can or could not afford the decoder with immediate effect, there was an agreement for partnership with a local channel.
When I look at the number of local channels we have, I wonder if we had to rely on only one which can sacrifice the semi-final match between Harambee stars and Burundi for a parliamentary sitting. It’s disgraceful, shameful, hurting and discouraging.
Back to stadium attendance, the Federation of Kenyan Football president Nick Mwendwa (pictured) has consistently insisted the Harambee Stars matches be held in Machakos County where the team has been playing before an empty stadium.
Machakos residents have apparently demonstrated that they neither have the interest of twthis national team at heart nor they don’t just care about football.
Our matches could have been held at Moi Stadium in Kisumu or Bukhungu Arena in Kakamega; the regions that have showed the passion to flood to the stadia whenever there’s a football match.
It’s high time we up the bar and take sports seriously. It’s high time we sacrifice our greed and lust to make Kenyan football great again.
(The author is the sports writer, www.wakajuaness.com).