National Super League (NSL) Council Chairman Johnstone Sakwa has expressed concern that KSh90 million sponsorship deal with betting firm Betika could be jeopardized if the government trashes Fifa’s directive on how to handle the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections.
On Wednesday, Fifa declined to form a normalization committee as requested by the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) and instead extended the current term of office for sitting officials until the current impasse is resolved.
Sakwa who also chairs NSL side Nairobi Stima said sponsors will not stay if there is instability and asked the government to be careful before taking any decision that might jeopardize the current stability.
Sakwa also pointed out that players are the biggest stakeholders in football and any decision that is made should ensure that it is for their good.
“The biggest stakeholder is the player. Unfortunately, if this standoff is not resolved amicably, they will suffer in terms of loss of income and annulment of contracts.
“Football requires stability to attract sponsors and anything that disrupts this must be resisted,” he said.
“We urge that Fifa’s position on the stalemate be respected to enable us to move forward and not lose out on the little that we have received. No sponsor will be willing to come and invest their money where there is chaos.
Nairobi City Stars Chief Executive Officer Patrick Korir said whatever decision taken by the government on this matter should strictly favour the game and not individual interests.
“For football to thrive, there has to be a conducive environment. Anyone following Kenyan football over the years should know that going to court to delay the electoral process has been a culture.
“However, our football is not in a crisis as some are claiming. This will pass but, in the meantime, we must be careful that whatever decisions we make at this time are not detrimental to the real stakeholder and that is the player.”
Kibera All-Stars secretary general Daniel Magara has also called for adherence to Fifa’s directive insisting it will help instil confidence among the sponsors.
“We have 10 matches to go and this could be disrupted if the stalemate continues. We have had a good league, very competitive and the presence of a title sponsor has made it even more exciting.
“For continuity purposes, we need to abide by Fifa’s directive and when all is stable ensure the electoral process is concluded and we move forward.”
Other clubs that supported the statement are Administration Police, Coast Stima, Fortune Sacco, Kenya Police, Muranga Seal, Mount Kenya United, Shabana, Ushuru, Vihiga United and Vihiga Bullets.