Businessman and former Nyanza National Executive Committee (NEC) member Tom Alila has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) presidency.
Tom Alila, who has football administration in his lineage with his father, Nelson Alila Onyango, being a revered figure in the Kenyan Football Federation (KFF), made his ambitions clear as he set out his vision for the development of the game from the grassroots to the national level.
“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,” said Mr Alila.
Already the campaigns are underway for the elections that are slated for next year.
The other strategic element of his plan involves creating a robust football curriculum in schools to promote the sport among the youth and establishing sustainable structures for young players’ development.
“We intend to implement structured programs for a football curriculum in schools, ensuring widespread participation in football activities,” added Alila .
Mr Alila has also set out an elaborate plan to promote women’s football across the country by effectively utilising funds from the world football governing body FIFA.
“In my tenure, I’ll ensure that women’s leagues and Harambee Starlets have title sponsors,” he emphasised.
To achieve his manifesto conclusively, Alila has come up with both short and long-term plans that his presidency will strive to achieve.
Alila said his track record as a former football administrator speaks for itself. For Instance, he ensured Moi Stadium in Kisumu got an artificial turf facelift which was a Sh52 million collaboration project with world football governing body FIFA during his tenure as Nyanza NEC member.
His period also saw four clubs from the region, namely Agro Chemicals FC, Muhoroni Youth FC, Western Stima FC and Sony Sugar FC, promoted to the top flight.
Other prolific sides that got a lease of life in the period were Palos FC, Migori Youth FC and Kisumu All Stars FC.
To ensure he attracts sponsors and corporates to the sport when elected, Alila says transparency and accountability will be key. He says his NEC members will be allowed to work independently and without any micromanagement.
“My office will not be a one man show, it will be an all inclusive relationship,” he stated.
Alila also plans to work in tandem with the government, saying it’s the only way to get goodwill from the State.
“I will put players’ interest first, because they are the core of the game. I will ensure that contracts signed with sponsors are within the public domain. In as much as sponsors need value for their support, players welfare will be a priority,” he stated.
He has also vowed to tackle match-fixing that is slowly creeping into Kenya football. He also said, in conjunction with the government, he will set up a penal code to criminalize the act.
To ensure Kenya soccer national Team Harambee stars and Harambee starlets strive and succeed in international games, Alila will ensure there is smooth transition of players from clubs to the national level.
“To be sincere, I currently have a problem with the way players are being drafted into the national team. Benson Omalla (Gor Mahia FC) is our top scorer yet he is not there, that I have a problem with, I believe Harambee Stars call up should be based on merit to reflect a national outlook,” he stated.