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How lobbying influenced KPL awards

Intense lobbying and underhand dealings characterized the nomination and eventual selection of players who were feted at the annual KPL Footballer of the Year  awards, Nairobi News can reveal.

In what turned out to be a farce, merit was largely overlooked as the league coaches engaged in fisticuffs over whom to select as nominees and eventual winners in all the categories.

Last Wednesday’s gala night was skipped by many footballers with plenty of empty seats at the venue where the season’s best were to be feted.

In an interview with Nairobi News, Mathare United coach Stanley Okumbi lifted the lid on intriguing behind the scenes events in the run-up to the announcement of the award winners.

UNFAIR EXERCISE

“The exercise was not fairly done. Eighty percent of the nominations were questionable. That’s why I skipped the gala night,” Okumbi said.

The youthful coach revealed that lobbying began as soon as the shortlist of nominees was out and went overdrive on the eve of the gala night as  coaches with vested interest pushed for ‘their nominees.’

“The most deserving players were overlooked by the selection panel. What happened was a big shame,” he said.

In the days succeeding the occasion, KPL has received alot of flak from close observes of the Kenyan game for the strange turn of events during which Sofapaka’s Anthony Ndolo was voted the Player of the Year.

And as you would guess, the country’s top football organ has inevitably been sucked into this fiasco with calls for a different approach to be applied.