Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa wants Kenya to qualify for the World Cup within the second term of his presidency.
On Saturday, October 17, Mwendwa and his deputy Doris Petra were elected overwhelmingly in the FKF national elections, garnering 77 votes out of the total 85 possible.
He was quick to reveal that his number one dream to fulfill in his second term in office is the qualification of Kenya’s team to the World Cup.
No Kenyan football team has ever qualified for the global showpiece – whether men, women or age-group teams – a jinx he is keen to break.
Having succeeded in sending both Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in his first term, Mwendwa believes it’s time to make a leap into football’s grandest stage.
“I feel there is a World Cup calling, I don’t know which it is. We want to think which one it is because Kenya needs to rise to the next level – go back to AFCON, go to the World Cup, women’s World Cup, men’s World Cup – whichever it is, Kenya needs to be there and I’m strongly convinced we will do this,” a hopeful Mwendwa said after the Saturday election.
“We are open minded and we know nothing is impossible. We have Harambee Stars, Harambee Starlets and various youth teams we hope to take to that stage. I however feel our women’s team is closer there,” she averred.
For the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Kenya is pooled against West African giants Mali, neighbours Uganda and Rwanda in Group E of the second phase of the qualifiers.
The winner of the group will face another group winner in home and away ties for one of the five tickets available for Africa.
Another area of concern for Mwendwa’s administration is the debts FKF owes several entities, after battling the financial situation at Kandanda House for four years.
With the federation’s structure now in line with the 2010 constitution, the FKF boss also wants to leverage on it to improve leagues across the country.
His immediate drive, however, is seeing football resumption in Kenya, following a seven-month hiatus forced by COVID-19 pandemic.
“I call upon all elected and every football stakeholder to help us resume football, observing the protocols laid out by the Government. This is our immediate agenda. Our boys and girls are suffering, they need to resume and make living out their talents.
“We have sponsors who are waiting for the resumption, so that they release funds. Let’s all rally towards this,” he pleaded.
The FKF Premier League is tentatively primed for November 20 kickoff, but the Government will have to give final clearance before the ball can roll.
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