Football Kenya Federation has finally succumbed to the coronavirus pandemic that forced the Kenya Premier League to be suspended indefinitely since March. The calendar rolls on and the league resumption is still unknown.
They have declared Gor Mahia the champions of this season and as such, the Green Army is set to represent Kenya in next season’s African Champions league. It is a win that will not have much celebrating since it had to be declared. We do not know when the club will be presented with the trophy but we do know it will have to be a low-key affair sans fanfare because no crowds or meetings are allowed under Covid-19 rules of keeping social distance.
The other wet blanket on the issue is that we do not know whether there is actually a trophy to be handed or if the KPL actually acquired one for the occasion. These are stubborn facts of life in Kenya that we shudder to think will follow us to the next season and so on till we die. The last time Gor won this league championship, they were not paid their prize money!
Even as we pen this column, we do not know if they ever got that money and if it was paid, then it must have been done mysteriously. There was an explanation from KPL’s Jack Oguda that they would be paid as soon as the league procured a sponsor. That seems to have nailed the coffin since the league still has no sponsor.
This time around we are still going to be stuck in the same rut. They will get the trophy hush-hush and the prize money will wait until a league sponsor magically shows up.
One wonders if this league is really tenable. It is really degrading and demoralising to see such inability in our midst. Kenyans keep praising themselves with the term: “Wakenya ni wajanja!” but to say the truth we are wapumbavu. We are so complacent to a shocking depth.
We also know the teams that will be promoted to the KPL from the Super League; we also know which teams will have to vie in a play-off, whenever it will beheld. What we don’t know is how those relegated are feeling. We do not know what happens to teams like Sony Sugar that were dropped for giving more than three walkovers due to lack of funds.
For different reasons, this season reminds one of the 1971 season which was scrapped. One Roy Gachuhi gave a harrowing account of that year when weather and incompetence mixed up quite well and disappointed all fans.
We can do better than this and FKF and KPL must see to it that next season will not be as tormenting as this season was. Please look for the prize money early enough.