Africa-Press – Kenya. Bidco United head coach Anthony ‘Viera’ Akhulia has weighed in on the ongoing standoff between the Football Kenya Federation and the Ministry of Sports, saying it is likely to have far-reaching implications on those who earn a living through football.
Akhulia urged local football stakeholders to accord the matter the utmost sobriety it deserves given its significance in society.
“I’ve heard guys support and encourage the looming Fifa ban while claiming it will serve best to cleanse the rot in our football. You can easily afford to rant about the benefits of the ban on radio and social media given you already have a job, be it as a journalist, a business person or even a teacher,” he observed.
Akhulia lashed out at those rooting for a Fifa ban, saying they ought to examine the issue broadly instead of allowing their emotions to be driven by the performance of the national team.
“To them, Kenyan football starts and ends with the performance of Harambee Stars. Before you can confidently suggest a ban on Kenyan football, think of Kenya’s representatives in the CAF Confederations Cup, Gor Mahia and Tusker, about the exposure we shall be denying the players of these clubs,” he added.
“Think of that coach from Uasin Gishu or Kakamega who sold his cow to raise Sh60,000 just to attend a CAF ‘B’ coaching course in Nairobi, and might have checked into a hotel for the entire four months.”
“Think of me who also paid my Sh60,000 commuting daily using an average of Sh400 bob daily on transport for the last four months, and now when I’m almost completing the training, you want Kenya banned by Fifa. What happens to our money and the time we have spent?
“Think of that footballer, that coach, that referee, that physio who solely depend on this game to provide for his family. Think of that steward at AFC Leopards or Gor Mahia who waits for his team to have a match so that he/she can get something for his family.”
Kenyans, he said, should appreciate the fact that the country has just emerged from a major economic crisis occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and it would be unfair to expose footballers to further financial difficulties by subjecting the country to a ban for the next two years.
“Guys, our football is just coming out of a very difficult Covid-19 period and even before we could pick ourselves up, here we are again shooting ourselves on the foot. Let’s do things the right way, soberly and without malice or prejudice,” said Akhulia.