Sam Nyamweya urges government to support Bandari FC amid Mapinduzi Cup dispute.
Former Football Kenya Federation President Sam Nyamweya has expressed his dismay over the decision to bar Bandari FC from participating in the annual Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar.
In a strongly worded letter addressed to Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Nyamweya voiced the concerns of football stakeholders in the country and called on the government to intervene in the matter.
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Nyamweya's remarks came after FKF turned down Bandari's request to compete in the prestigious tournament, citing concerns that it would disrupt the ongoing FKF Premier League season.
Nyamweya, however, believes that this decision was overly cautious and had a detrimental impact on the club and its players.
"This was a moment for Bandari to try their new signings and prepare for the second phase of the league. The federation should have taken more diplomatic measures to address the concerns and see the team participate in the tournament," Nyamweya stated.
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He also highlighted the potential long-term implications of this decision on future sports events and collaborations between East African countries.
"They contend that the withdrawal of Bandari FC from the Mapinduzi Cup could be perceived as a lack of trust and confidence in the host country’s ability to ensure the safety and security of visiting teams, potentially affecting the willingness of other countries to participate in future events. This is a spat in the face of the East African Community call for integration," Nyamweya added.
"We call upon the ministry to address the issue and allow the team to participate in the tournament," he concluded.
Bandari FC's Vice Chairman, Twaha Mbarak, delivered the disappointing news to the team after the federation's decision was relayed to them on Thursday.
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The Dockers had received an invitation to compete in the Mapinduzi Cup, a tournament that attracts star teams from Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
The competition is scheduled to take place at the refurbished Amaani Stadium from December 28 to January 13, 2024.
The tournament organizers had initially drawn Bandari in a challenging group alongside Tanzanian giants Yanga SC, hosts KVZ, and Burundian powerhouse Vital 'O'.