The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: You Must Fight for Mini-League Slots, Mukolwe Tells Western Officials

FOOTBALL Kenya Federation (FKF) national executive member, Elly Mukolwe yesterday told Western and North Western branches that they have no choice but to fight for mini-league slots.

He told the defiant Western branch secretary George Baraza that football is not played in boardrooms and they have to fight it out on the pitch to win slots for the Nationwide League. Mukolwe reiterated that two top teams from the region will face off with those from Nyanza and Rift Valley to determine two qualifiers for the Nationwide League.

"The mini league is very competitive. There is no shortcut and the winners have to meet those from Nyanza and Rift Valley to make the cut," Mukolwe said. Mukolwe put the record straight after the branch vowed not to honour the format, which they claimed was machinations of the Western NEC member.

Baraza said they want Western to have automatic slots and avoid featuring in another mini-league which he said might lock teams from the region from the Division One league.

Mukolwe said the Nationwide League has been divided into two zones with Zone 'A' featuring Nairobi, Coast, Eastern and North Eastern teams while Zone 'B' has Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza. He said Eastern have already completed their mini-league and are waiting for teams from Nairobi and North Eastern to determine two qualifiers.

"This is not my format. It was crafted by the FKF to make it very competitive. The only way we can help the country regain its glory is by having competitive leagues. Boardroom politics won't take us anywhere," Mukolwe added.

He said football had started coming up in Western following the promotion of Kakamega Homeboyz to the Kenya Premier League and hopes Nzoia United will follow suit next year.

"This is what we want. Let's play football instead of craving for free things which will just contribute to the downfall of the game as reminiscent in the current Fifa ranking, where Kenya is placed 134."

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