Former Kenyan international footballer Sammy ‘Kempes’ Owino has promised to turn around Kenya’s ailing football should he be elected the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president in the polls come February 2024.
Owino, who played for Gor Mahia and the national team Harambee Stars in the late 70s and early 80s, said he will ensure accountability, proper football development structures, fully support women football, create good relationships with the Sports Ministry, schools, grassroots football organisers, CECAFA and CAF.
Owino was speaking at Panari Hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday where stakeholders called on Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba to provide a clear road map for the polls.
“I am vying for the top seat because I feel I have the experience, competence, a proven track record and a vision for the country that is very much needed.
We started this process long time ago and we have made progress by reaching all corners of our republic.
Players must come through a pipeline like it was during Zgoll’s time and give our national teams the meaningful friendly games as we hope to qualify for both AFCON and the World Cup.”
Owino, who also played for Umeme Sports Club and Re-Union before joining Gor Mahia, said he is a beneficiary of football after coming from a poor background.
“After having it rough in Nairobi, I got a scholarship to study abroad and the game completely changed my life.”
He said Kenyan football is in shambles and feels he is the right person to revive it, after running very successful academies locally and abroad, adding that wrong are elected to football leadership in Kenya because they are voted in after corrupting the delegates.
“I care about the game because of what it has done for me. Football is a very powerful sport, but for Kenya to succeed, we must elect the right people with a vision of where we want to go.
Football leaders must have accountability to restore trust. Lack of accountability and corruption is what is killing our football. We must keep things in the open, transparency and inclusivity is paramount.
Why is Safari Rally getting more money than football? It’s because the systems are in place, and when people do wrong things they are punished unlike in football.”
Other candidates eyeing the top seat are former president Sam Nyamweya, Extreme Sports boss Hussein Mohamed and Gor Mahia Secretary General Sam Ocholla.
Former FKF CEO Ludovick Aduda, Murang’a Seal chairman Robert Macharia, former footballer Harold Ndege and businessman Twaha Mbarak are also in the race.
Incumbent Nick Mwendwa will not be on the ballot having served the maximum two-term limit as stipulated in the Sports Act 2013.