Former FKF boss Nyamweya declares Shabana will rise again
Former Football Federation (FKF) President, Sam Nyamweya insists fallen Gusii giants Shabana FC can rise from the ashes of finishing bottom of the second-tier National Super League to scale the heights next season.
Nyamweya who is the patron of the club believes the team had enough quality to push for promotion to the 2017 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) but were set back by the crippling financial woes that plagued them throughout the entire 2016 campaign.
The former top-flight giants who earned a reprieve through a successful appeal lodged at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) against expulsion from the NSL mustered only four wins in the entire season.
However, Nyamweya told Citizen Digital, the team will not be relegated to the third-tier should the decision to expand the KPL to 18 teams be ratified offering the former glamour community club a chance to pick themselves up from the doldrums.
“We are waiting until they sort out this issue of promotion to the KPL. If they are promoting four teams then no team will be relegated from the NSL I have been told,” Nyamweya who lost the FKF presidency to Nick Mwendwa in February after serving a single four year term emphasised.
He blamed Shabana’s woes on an indifferent Gusii public as well as the county governments of Kisii and Nyamira from reneging on the pledge to support the team.
“Shabana is a community club we can’t depend on handouts from individuals. It’s high time the community came up to help the club and especially the county governments who promised help but didn’t,” the long-serving football administrator charged.
“Can you believe players going the whole year without salary? For them to have completed the season some individuals had to give money from their pockets including myself and that is not how clubs should be run.
“It’s either we get a sponsor or the community comes in. The county governments have a budget and this is their club. I’m blaming the county 100 percent, not even the club officials for the poor performance,” Nyamweya insisted.
“The officials tried to get sponsors but none we willing to support the team. There is nothing they could do,” the former FKF boss underscored.
Echoing Nyamweya’s standing; club Organising Secretary Stephen Kiama accused club chairman Jared Nivaton of abandoning the team by failing to rally other officials to secure funds for the team.
“We need to have a new Chairman. There is no way you can be leading a club regardless of the personal challenges you might be facing and maintain silence for three months.
“We need someone who is serious like (former chairmen) Dogo Khan and Joseph Matundura among others. We accept that he helped Shabana where he could but up to now I am sure he has no clue on where the team is,” Kiama who expressed his displeasure at Nivaton said.
Under Khan who founded the club and Matundura, Shabana rose to the peak of Kenyan club football, finishing league runner-ups in 1988 and represented the nation in the CAF Confederations Cup the following season.
Kiama cited record 15-time top flight champions, Gor Mahia boss Ambrose Rachier as a leader who has stood by the community club through thick and thin despite being a top Nairobi lawyer.
FKF and KPL are still locked in dispute over the expansion of the league from 16 to 18 with a case in the SDT where the latter is challenging the move to add more teams still pending.
Speaking at the KPL Awards on Tuesday, Mwendwa declared a solution to the three-year impasse will be brokered within the next fortnight whilst remaining adamant the 18-team format will be adopted.
Until then, Shabana can only sit and wait to establish their fate after their worst season in their chequered history culminated in the disgrace of finishing rock bottom.
After the 2014 season, Nyamweya declared Shabana as one of the four teams to be promoted to the 2015 KPL alongside Posta Rangers, Kakamega Homeboyz and Nakumatt FC in controversial fashion.
The Gusii giants were awarded nine boardroom points that saw them shoot up the standings but in a bruising battle with KPL that saw the top flight league suspended by the High Court for two weeks in March 2015, Nyamweya lost in his bid to have the competition expanded to 18.
Shabana had then to play in the FKF-Premier League that Nyamweya established and promoted a record 14 teams as the alternate top flight before talks mediated by Fifa saw it downgraded to the second-tier.
When Mwendwa assumed office, it was renamed NSL and Shabana who had failed to honour three games in the 2015 season owing to a gripping cash crisis were initially kicked out by FKF before they won an appeal to be reinstated.
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