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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,30TH MARCH 2020-Coaches have warned against advocating for a FIFA ban in the wake of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections standoff, advising such a move would be detrimental to the development of the sport in Kenya.
The five who include three FIFA accredited instructors strongly differed with a section of stakeholders supporting a ban or anything that could prompt the world football governing body to crack the whip.
Former AFC Leopards and Zoo FC coach Nick Yakhama says a FIFA ban will bring to a halt all football activities in the country and anyone advocating for it is an enemy of the sport.
“It will stop us in our tracks as it will affect all our teams from under-13 to under-15. Considering this is where most of our talent is, it will be a major set-back for the country. Furthermore, no local players will be free to go and play in the professional ranks. This will mean lost hope for a generation, we should not go there,” said Yakhama.
Former Northern Wanderers coach Noordin Tube also warned of dire consequences should the country be banned by FIFA.
“I wonder if those calling for a ban know what it really means. Sometimes you think of such calls and you can’t fail toi imagine such people have a hidden ill motive. For example, it would mean all leagues are suspended immediately leading to massive unemployment which will hit players, coaches, managers and stadia managers,” told Tube.
”Our national team will also miss out on major tournaments like the World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations and other FIFA recognized events. We cannot afford a ban.” he added.
FKF Instructor Twahir Muhiddin on his part said history has shown bans stagnate the sport anywhere in the world, adding nothing serious in Kenya has happened to warrant such a move.
“We are in a very bad situation at the moment with lack of sponsors. Players are already suffering as it is and we cannot add a ban on top of it. The fact is that majority of our players depend on football as a means of livelihood and if we are banned, they will have nothing else to do. Sponsors would also be forced to pull out in such a scenario.
“The federation has done a lot in the last four years. Because of the stability and peace, we have had a number of players turning professional and all these gains are threatened,” underlined the veteran coach.
Another FIFA instructor Leonard Saleh averred anyone welcoming a ban is is an enemy of progress, adding there is no crisis to be addressed by halting everything.
“Such individuals wants to kill football and the livelihood of players, coaches and referees. We cannot afford such it, let the stakeholders involved directly look at the bigger picture,” Saleh said, an opinion shared by former Thika Queens coach Richard Kanyi who dreads a situation where FIFA grants are stopped directly affecting several programs such as women football and age-group leagues.
This comes as the early April meeting between FIFA, FKF, SDT and the Government of Kenya nears with hard stances by opposite sides indicating a possible ban.
There is already a telling contradiction of orders given to FKF by both SDT and FIFA, ahead of the meeting.