Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidential aspirant Nicholas Musonye has now hit at Kenyan fans over their lack of attendance during local matches, saying that they only like betting and drinking in bars while watching European football.
Musonye, who is the former Secretary-General for the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), made the remarks when he was hosted at Radio Jambo’s popular sports show, Weekend Warm-Up, to discuss his Agenda if elected to serve as the FKF president in the upcoming elections.
When asked how he will ensure fans get back to the stadiums, Musonye took the moment to hit back at Kenyan fans “unapologetically,” criticizing them for beings fans of betting and watching European games in clubs and bars, rather than going to the stadiums to cheer on local teams playing in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and others.
“Kenyans only watch Europen football on TVs in bars while drinking, hold football conversations and betting. But they cannot go to the stadium to watch our local teams. This is the hard truth and I have no apology over that,” Musonye said.
He also revealed that while he was the Secretary-General of CECAFA, they managed to pull crowds in regional tournaments. This, he exemplified with the 2016 CECAFA club championship final between Gormahia Fc and Yanga Fc, which took place in 2016 in Dar es Salaam, where they collected over Ksh. 30 million.
“The 2016 final between Gormhia and Yanga saw us collect Ksh. 30 million form fans’ attendance. That is why I hit on fans, they are the best sponsors and if they can grace our stadiums, our teams will improve. For instance, if Gormahia is playing against Esperance in the CAF Champions League, and fans fill the stadium to capacity, our club would not be struggling as we see,” he said.
Musonye further added that it is fans who can help improve our local leagues, since even the companies that have come in to sponsor the league have not been dependable, withdrawing from the deals anytime they want.
“We have seen these companies coming in to sponsor the league and they withdraw anytime they want, but fans can never withdraw, they are always present supporting our clubs and that is why they are sponsors number one. That is why I urge them to get out from bars and come back to the stadium,” Musonye added.
Musonye announced he will vie for the top seat in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections earlier on this year, and he will face competition from the likes of the incumbent Nick Mwendwa, former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya, former AFC Leopards chairman Alex ole Magelo, Gor Mahia Secretary General Lordvick Aduda, former Vihiga County Governor Moses Akaranga, St. Peters Mumias principal Cosmos Nabungolo and businessman St. Peters Mumias principal Cosmos Nabungolo .
The much-awaited polls are expected to be held once the Covid-19 pandemic is contained after the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) nullified the federation’s election twice since December last year.
Musonye, who handed over the Cecafa Secretary General’s baton to Auka Gecheo in December last year after serving for 20 years, also promised to work with all stakeholders including former players, coaches, FKF branches, and the youth to steer the game forward.
“The call to contest for the position came from stakeholders. I will not let them down. If given the mandate, I am going to restore hope in our football. That is my motivation and my desire. I will not fail Kenyans. I will work with the government to strengthen the sport,” he said.