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'I'm seeking President Kenyatta and DP Ruto's intervention to save football' - Ex-Harambee Stars' Mariga

10:19 BST 23/10/2021
Nick Mwendwa of FKF Amina Mohamed and Uhuru Kenyatta.
The retired star feels the game is taking a wrong direction and has revealed he is looking to the country's leaders to intervene

Former Harambee Stars midfielder McDonald Mariga has stated he is seeking the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to intervene and save the state of Kenyan football.

Mariga, a critic of Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa, said he is afraid the trajectory the game is taking is worrying and needs high-level intervention.


"I would only urge the retired players to come together and let us talk about the state of our football," Mariga told Arocho Live.

"I will also try as much as possible to see if I can meet President [Uhuru] Kenyatta and the Deputy President, [William] Ruto, and seek their intervention and see how to save our football.

"If we keep going on as we are doing, the players will leave football and start abusing drugs and some will even become thieves. The president and the deputy president must get involved in sports matters because a lot of players are hurt by the current state."

Mariga was among the first people to criticise Mwendwa after the FA chief claimed Kenya lacked the necessary quality. Mwendwa made the statement after Kenya's dream to participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar came to an end after two straight losses against Mali.

"Mwendwa's statement hurt me so much and that made me react the way I did," said Mariga.

"You cannot say we do not have talents when we have Dennis Oliech who played for Auxerre, Victor Wanyama has been in England at Tottenham, I have played in Italy at Inter Milan and Michael Olunga has been in Spain.

"So, if we can produce such players with four or five at the highest level, how come we do not have talent? It is him who is not doing his job in a better way and decided to shift blame to the players.

"In the first term, he did nothing and only complained that there was no money, and in the second term, what he was doing was blaming the players. No, that should not be the case.  

"If he is overwhelmed by the job, let him leave the space for somebody else."

Kenya will face Rwanda and Uganda in their remaining World Cup Group E qualifiers.