NAIROBI, Kenya – The fall of three County Governors; Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Moses Akaranga (Vihiga) and Peter Munya (Meru) at the 2017 General Election has left the sporting projects they backed standing on shaky ground.
Kidero who lost his seat in the Kenyan capital to Mike Sonko, the outgoing Senator was the chief organizer of the Nairobi Governors Cup that attracted over 100 teams.
Winners were yet to receive the cash they were promised by the time Kenya went to ballot leaving the teams uncertain whether the incoming administration will settle the dues.
“We reached the quarters and were to get a cash prize of KSh100,000. We have already given out our account details to the organizers but nothing has been received yet.
“We are following it up to see if we will get the money with or without Kidero in office,” said Kasarani-based Terror Squad FC Head Coach, Vincent Okello.
SportPesa News received assurances from tournament organisers that the promised rewards would be honoured.
“Kindly note that the Governors’ Cup soccer tournament awards will be paid by Nairobi County Liquor & Licensing Board as Sponsor and not the Governor himself.
“There is a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the sponsor and the federation,” George Onyango, one of the tourney organisers insisted.
Jijazie FC from Kamukunji beat True Gunners FC from Kibra in the final staged at City Stadium for which they were to take home a KSh1.5m top prize.
Outgoing county chief Moses Akaranga who was trounced by Wilberforce Otichilo had a big sporting footprint in Vihiga, sponsoring four outfits; two football sides in addition to rugby and basketball teams.
Vihiga United FC and Vihiga Queens, who take part in the National Super League (NSL) and FKF Women Premier League are not however, concerned about their future.
“For us nothing has changed. We don’t want to preempt anything but we are not worried. The team is being sponsored by the County not an individual.
“Even though it is a project initiated by the outgoing Governor who has been the Patron, we don’t foresee any effects related to his loss,” NSL leaders assistant Head Coach, Francis Xavier told SportPesa News.
“The policy, we believe has and will not change and we are working towards achieving our target of earning promotion,” the team’s assistant coach Xavier emphasised.
Ousted Akaranga was a common fixture in Vihiga games and having missed out on promotion last season, the side leads the second division’s standings on 47 points, four clear of second-placed Nairobi Stima FC after 20 rounds of the competition.
Munya who surrendered his seat to outgoing Meru Senator, Kiraitu Murungi had made the renovation of the dilapidated Kinoru Stadium a pet project and was keen on pouring more resources to upgrade it to international standards.
Kinoru is one of the stadiums earmarked for the 2018 Africa Home Nation Championships early next year and the defeat of the Council of Governors chairman now presents the Local Organising Committee with a challenge.
SPL champions, Tusker FC had already relocated their home games to Kinoru in a bid to tap to the local fanbase and they will be watching the incoming administration to establish the sustainability of their stay in Meru.