From Saturday the 11th July to the 2nd August this year, the East and Central Africa region football bigwigs will be in Tanzania. The country was chosen as the hosts of this years CECAFA Club Cup popularly known as Kagame Cup. Despite Kenya being one of nations who wanted to host the showpiece, the media buzz has been of a low key and no one has come out boldly to question the decision.
This reaction towards the announcement should be another reminder of why the local football fan has lost trust in the game. Average Kenyan fans crave extravagance and spectacle of European football and the vast majority of our games are nothing near what they expect.
I remember Nicholas Musonye (the CECAFA secretary General) describing Kenyan's as those who had little interest in football and spent most of their minutes in bars and busaa gardens-how right he was. Lower-level attendances are on the rise and there are no signs this might change soon. Different fanatics have different reasons why they can't grace a local match. Some point fingers at hooliganism, the others on ticket prices, the others...the others...With the broadcasting rights casting their nets far and wide to bring the action live, 'true soccer fans' are able to enjoy the kick-and-chase slug fests played out in bumpy mud pits at the comfort of their couch.
Dwindling state of the League.
There’s no denying that KPL has made major strides since its conception but there’s one glaring crack in the armor that KPL has been struggling for years. Last year, Kenya were represented by Gor Mahia in the Kagame Cup.
On the back of a blistering performance, expectations were high and many expected them to sail smoothly as the showpiece progressed. It was so shocking to see them out earlier than expected. This showed how the best we had still has a lot of ground to cover to be at per with the best in the region and that our league was not proportional to the hype and glitz that it's accustomed with in the social sites.
That brings me to my question. Why would a federation think it's fit to give a hosting right to a nation that has done less to improve soccer in the region? A nation that thrives in football wrangles and has two parallel leagues running at the same time? There was no way Musonye and company were going to grant Kenya a ticket to host the best teams in the region when their contribution towards the development of soccer has a zero as an equivalent.
The snub is the least of things any reasoning football fan would ever complain about.