Dennis Oliech worried about Kenya's football future in passionate message to President Ruto

FOOTBALL Dennis Oliech worried about Kenya's football future in passionate message to President Ruto

Mark Kinyanjui 13:00 - 21.03.2024

Oliech is worried that the future of Kenyan football is in jeopardy after the current office was ordered to postpone the 2024 AGM and has asked President Ruto to intervene.

Former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech has penned a letter to President William Ruto, wearing his heart on his sleeve on the state of football in the country after the Football Kenya Federation was forced to postpone the Annual General Meeting (AGM) initially slated for Saturday 16 March.

The High Court issued the order last Friday evening in response to a challenge mounted by sports journalist Milton Nyakundi, questioning the legality of the federation's top officials convening the AGM.

The AGM was poised to address various pressing matters, with the upcoming FKF elections taking center stage among the key issues up for deliberation.

The development comes after FKF through its Secretary General Barry Otieno issued an official letter to Premier League side Murang’a Seal terming their nomination of Hussein Mohammed to the meeting that was scheduled to be held in Nairobi as illegal.

The communique issued by Barry Otieno caused widespread debate on social media platforms with Murang’a Seal chairperson Robert Macharia affirming that Mohammed will represent the club in the meeting.

Hussein is collaborating with Oliech and former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga in the race to hopefully become the FKF president.

Nick Mwendwa, the current incumbent has not openly declared he is in the running for the seat again but does not seem prepared to relinquish control.

His committee claims that they should still be running for the next term of office under the new FKF constitution, which was promulgated in 2018.

This has forced Oliech into pointing fingers at the Sports Ministry, claiming they have done little to help abate the situation, ever since former CS Amina Mohammed -who declared FKF redundant in 2021, forcing FIFA to suspend football in the country - was in charge.

“Mr President, I am afraid the sports ministry is not absolved from blame here,” Oliech penned on Daily Nation.

“It has entertained and abated some of the challenges highlighted and treated these FKF officials with kid gloves as footballers suffer.

“The current administration at FKF is facing a court contempt ruling as a result of defying court orders with regards to their occupation of FKF offices.

“Because of the current situation, the lives and livelihoods of many a hustler who depend on football for a living are at risk.”

Oliech has expressed frustration at the current committee’s threats of getting FIFA to ban football in the country again whenever challenged, which leaves young football players with dreams of making it stagnating.

“When challenged to face the law after breaking them, the usual tiring line of 'FIFA shall ban us' is forced down the public throat. Investors cannot have confidence in such governance mispractices.”

Oliech believes things during his time as a footballer were better off despite having much more limited resources than modern footballers have now.

The lack of accountability and transparency cannot provide a sustainable environment for hosting an international football tournament leave alone a successful local league.

“Look how the leagues are suffering. In my time we did not have much but were better off.”

The country’s record goalscorer has challenged the president to intervene in the situation and help solve it once and for all, or else risk damaging the future of the sport in the country.

"If nothing is done to stop the situation, we will have no future in football in Kenya.”