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Call for Reform: Garissa County Football Stakeholders Demand Sports Sector Accountability


Mar 30, 2024

Representatives from registered football clubs in Garissa County convened at Garissa Primary grounds to express their deep dissatisfaction with the county government’s management of the sports sector. 

The stakeholders voiced a range of concerns, including neglect, exclusion, and mismanagement, which they believe are hindering the development of football in the region.

“Criticism was directed towards the Department of Sports, with stakeholders highlighting the absence of any formulated policy or bill sent to the Garissa County Assembly in the twelve years since devolution,” stated one representative.

“In particular, the stakeholders denounced the Department of Sports for its failure to support Nurdin Ibrahim, who was unjustly excluded from the national U19 Talanta Hela team despite his skill and rightful place in the squad,” expressed another member of the football community.

Additionally, concerns were raised about favoritism towards a single club in the Youth Intercounty Sports Association (KYISA) Games, once a platform for talent development and community engagement.

“The stakeholders lamented the inadequate support for ongoing football leagues across sub-counties, citing the department’s failure to provide essential resources such as referee fees,” emphasized a club representative.

“Despite assurances, requested referees and coaching training have yet to materialize, hindering the professional development of key stakeholders and undermining the overall quality of football in Garissa,” added another member of the football community.

Calling for urgent intervention from Governor Nathif Jama, the stakeholders demanded a reevaluation of appointed officials within the sports ministry and the appointment of a competent chief officer with a background in sports.

“We therefore ask the Governor to intervene with urgency and relook at the people he appointed to this ministry and do the necessary changes,” asserted a spokesperson for the football stakeholders.

Football stakeholders announced plans for daily protests starting on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024, demanding government accountability and sports department reforms. Photo/ Yunis Dekow

“We also want the Governor to appoint a competent chief officer amongst the nominees two of whom are known to have a strong background in sports,” added another representative.

The stakeholders announced plans for daily protests starting on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024, to demand government accountability and reforms within the sports department.

Efforts to address the grievances of the football community through engagement with the Department of Gender, Social Services, Culture, Youth, and Sports, led by Hawa Abdi, have proven futile.

“Garissa County continues to face delays in hiring chief officers more than a year and a half after the August 2022 General Election,” lamented a member of the football community.

Winners of SheikhowSuper Cup receive reward after securing a win. Photo/ GTN

“The recruitment of chief officers, essential for enhancing access to sports facilities, organizing leagues, and providing training for coaches and referees, remains stalled,” they added.

The ball is now in the court of Garissa County’s leadership to heed their calls for action and prioritize the development of sports in the region.

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