Namwamba reaches out to sponsors to revive sports

Friday, December 16th, 2022 04:00 | By
Sports CS Namwamba declares total war on doping
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba. PHOTO/File

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has urged Kenyan sponsors to extend their philanthropy by supplementing government efforts to empower sporting disciplines in the country.

Namwamba made the clarion call exactly a week after appealing to sponsors who had withdrawn from football to return their philanthropy to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League , especially after the world governing body Fifa lifting the indefinite suspension it slapped on Kenya early this year.

During a meeting with sponsors to chart Kenya’s new path in  sports industry through strategic partnership,  Namwamba saidthe country should borrow a leaf from powerhouses elike Germany and Brazil.

The duo’s story, Namwamba said, resonates with Kenya’s current situation.

“In the 70s and 80s, Germany was a football giant– revered, feared, admired – the German machine was relentless, unstoppable –winning four World Cups (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014), three European Championships (1972, 1980, 1996) and one Confederations Cup.  (2017).

He added :” We watched the Bundesliga in awe, our eyes glued to the screens – we were hypnotized by Lothar Matthaus, Thomas Muller, Jurgen Klinsmann and Franz Bechenbauer. But in the 90’s there came a problem.  In 1998, the German football hit rock bottom, and a reset was required. The World Cup loss to Brazil in 2002 was also a shocker.

The remedy, Namwamba noted, was setting up an ambitious and implementable programme-the DFB which is equivalent to our own Football Kenya Federation-which spearheaded a Talent Development Programme in their Vision 2014 for the World Cup and in the process setting up 390 centers of excellence in the country.

Perhaps to borrow a leaf from these countries, Namwamba said proper machinery by the government in partnership with sponsors is a prerequisite that cannot be wished away if development is to be achieved not only in football but other disciplines as well.

 “We have just come out of a FIFA ban that lasted over one year and have not been able to compete in the region or the continent. We had been excluded from all FIFA sanctioned activities and kept in the dark,” said Namwamba.

He went on:” We have never won the Africa Cup of Nations – not the men, not the women. We are ranked lower than our neighbors Uganda in the FIFA rankings. It is time to reset,”

Namwamba used the forum to thank President William For his Jamhuri Day address in which he said he will be committed in getting football back on track

“His Excellency President William Ruto in his Jamhuri Day address affirmed the centrality of sports and the arts in the Kenya Kwanza Administration. He further informed that the Government had moved with speed to get our football back, to protect Kenya’s proud athletics pedigree from doping, and to streamline collection and distribution of royalties to our artists,’’ said Namwamba in his commendation to the Head of State.

Namwamba also acknowledged the President’s entioning of the revolutionary TALANTA HEAL through which the country will rebuild and monetize sports and creative industries.

To this end, Namwamba said they shall use the impending initiative to scout for talent in an entity dubbed Kenya Academy of Sports and the Arts targeting 500 girs and a similar number of boys.

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