The County Football Association (CFA) chairman Charles Njoroge has promised to put focus on grassroots football after joining the race to contest for the presidency in the forthcoming Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections set for later this year.
On January 6, the FKF National Executive Committee (NEC) kick-started the process to hold the eagerly awaited exercise and the date will be announced during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for March 16 in Nairobi. Njoroge has now joined the growing list of candidates keen to take charge of FKF and he has promised to work closely with stakeholders at the grassroots level to improve standards of the game in the country.
“Our football in the grassroots has been neglected and is lagging, the current FKF regime is putting more focus on the top leagues and failing to support grassroots football or football in the Counties and these are some of the areas my regime will put focus on and improve if I get elected, and I know I will be elected the new president,” Njoroge told Africa Top Sports.
He added: “To develop football, we must start somewhere, and it can only be at the grassroots level because that is where we have the talent, and when this talent is nurtured, then we will have a strong foundation for the national teams, both men and women, as their respective coaches will have an abundance of players to pick their squads from.”
Asked about his thoughts after FKF moved to confirm elections at the start of the year, Njoroge said: “I am happy FKF are ready for elections, it was good they finally accepted we go to polls, there was uncertainty on the matter but now FKF have come out to say there will be elections, that is a great thing.”
He added: “I understand the problems Kenyan players are going through, I am always in the grassroots level (following and helping the kids), I receive a lot of calls because of the problems the players are going through, we have killed football, and we must get a solution on how to fix the game.
“Many kids are crying, coaches are crying (because of the problems facing football now), and if we go with the way FKF are running the sport, we won’t go anywhere, my focus is grassroots football, and that is the cure for Kenyan football.”
On how confident he is to be elected, Njoroge said: “I am not new in football, I have several stakeholders backing my bid, I have traversed all the 47 Counties, they have promised me support, and I will go for the seat, I am not dropping out.”
Others, who have declared interest in the top seat include former FKF President Sam Nyamweya, former NEC member Tom Alila, former CEO Omondi Aduda, ex-international Sammy ‘Kempes’ Owino, Gor Mahia CEO Sam Ocholla, ex-CECAFA secretary Nicholas Musonye, and Extreme Sports CEO Mohamed Hussein.