Businessman Tom Alila Plans to Transform Kenyan Football from Grassroots to National Level


His focus would be on players’ welfare and strengthening federation branches in the event he is elected the body's president. Speaking on Saturday, November 18, while unveiling his bid, Alila observed there had been profound neglect of the welfare of players and referees, pointing to that as the reason behind the deterioration of the state of football in the country.  “I will put my focus on the welfare of players and ensure that referees and other match officials are trained, equipped and paid promptly because this has been the reason why our football is not progressing,” said Alila. Also on his bucket list is fighting corruption and cronyism which he claimed had been rampant in the FKF. Promoting talents from grassroots to national level To ensure that talent is identified and nurtured at the lowest level, Alila said the focus would be on scouting potentials at the grassroots. “I want to radically change how football is managed in this country so that Kenyans begin filling the stadiums just like it was happening in the 1980s. Kenyans currently lack enthusiasm in football because of mismanagement,” he said. "I am running on three main principles: Firstly, we aim for a radical change in the administration of football, as the current management has been unsatisfactory," he added.  Three fundamental principles aimed at overhauling the sport's administration in the country made up his bid. The 55-year-old revealed his emphasis would be on streamlining grassroots football by ropping in the county administrations to support the leagues. Alila, whose mantra is ‘Mpira Mashinani’, further looks forward to establishing a proper and sustainable youth structure, introducing a footballers’ welfare scheme, and securing sponsorship for all leagues. Taking pride in the work he undertook in his capacity as the Nyanza FKF representative previously, Alila said he would employ the same know-how at the national level for the betterment of the sport. “When I was elected to represent Nyanza during my last stint as a football administrator, me and the then FKF President Sam (Nyamwya) brought Kisumu Stadium,” said Alila, adding: “It was also during my tenure when we promoted Muhoroni Youth to the top league, and it was during my time when we had more teams representing Nyanza region in the Premier League. He added that; “We had Agro Chemical, Sony Sugar, and Muhoroni Youth but it is a big shame now that we only have two teams from the region, that is Shabana and Muhoroni. I will make sure that we return Nyanza football to where it was before, return general football back to where it belongs, and return fans back to the stadium, I stand for ‘Mpira Mashinani’ and to develop football in 47 counties with transparency in running the sport.” Sponsorship for sport at all levels On Alila's to-do list after the election would be to ensure the extension of KPL's mandate to run the top-flight league, drawing sponsorship(s), and professionalising women’s football. He would also enhance the capacity of referees and coaches with the aim of raising the standard of professionalism. Alila served as a NEC member for one term in Nyanza from 2013 under the president Sam Nywamweya.  The businessman learned the ropes from his father Nelson Alila Onyango who was a revered figure in then Kenyan Football Federation (KFF). The race has so far attracted a host of candidates, among them former boss Nyamweya, Twaha Mbarak, Omondi Aduda, Steve Ocholla, Nicholas Musonye, and Hussein Mohammed. Though Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba has confirmed the elections will be held by February 2024, FKF is yet to set role out guidelines pertaining to the elections as well as the date for the exercise. Current president Nick Mwenda would not defend his seat having been at the helm for two consecutive terms.


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