Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hail the ‘grand gentlemen’ of Kenyan football

The Kenyan media has never established the genesis of the beef between FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya and Cecafa boss Nicholas Musonye.
What is known, though, is that two gentleman don’t see eye to eye. Their extreme distaste for each other is well established from the verbal tirades they have publicly exchanged in the past.
Sometimes, this endless tiff has taken the most outrageous forms; on other occasions, it has been utterly hilarious.
Known for his brash personality, on most of these occasions, Musonye has provided some witty sound bites for nosy members of the Fourth Estate.
Take for example last December when local football authorities threatened to boycott the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup after being denied hosting rights in favour of Uganda.
“They (Kenya) are the poorest side in the region. They can stay away if they so wish; we won’t miss them!” Musonye had said, tongue-in-cheek, of course.

Needless to say, FKF eventually came around and a third string Harambee Stars surprised many when they went all the way to the final only to lose 1-2 to hosts and defending champions Uganda.
But I digress. Last week, when this year’s edition of the Cecafa Kagame Cup (the regional tournament for champion clubs) scheduled for North Darfur and South Kordofan in Sudan was rocked by mass withdrawals, it didn’t occur to me that Nyamweya was somehow involved. Not until a seething Musonye spoke out.
“Someone’s team (read ‘Nyamweya’s Harambee Stars’) is already out of the World Cup campaign with two matches to spare and now he finds it convenient to interfere with Cecafa’s issues,” he told a colleague of mine in an off-the-cuff remark.
Apparently, Musonye is convinced that his longtime nemesis has a hand in the rough seas that Cecafa has run into in an attempt to host the tournament in the war-ravaged Sudanese State of Darfur.
Still grappling with Harambee Stars’ botched World Cup qualification bid, Nyamweya is yet to issue a rebuttal. But expect something acerbic if and when he does respond to those allegations.
It’s unfortunate that these two distinguished sons of Kenyan soil seem hell-bent on destroying each other even if it means football suffers as a result. Whatever it takes for Uncle Sam and good old Nick to close ranks, Kenyan football will certainly thank them for it.

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