Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has been named second runners-up Federation of the Year while Harambee Stars the Men’s Team of the Year for 2018 at the annual Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards held on Friday 11 January at the historic Fort Jesus building in the coastal city of Mombasa.
FKF emerged third in a category that was won by Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA).
Stars on the other hand prevailed against stiff competition from Premier League side Gor Mahia and Tennis’ Davis Cup.
The ceremony also saw veteran tactician Mohammed Kheri inducted into the Awards Hall of Fame with the Kwale Girls Football team named the Girls School Team of the Year,.
In its biggest achievement of the year, FKF saw the national football team Harambee Stars, secure passage to this year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals and end a 15 year wait to grace the continental stage. Stars last appeared at the showpiece in 2004.
After losing their opening match of the qualification process away to Sierra Leone, a change at the national team helm saw Frenchman Sebastien Migne come in as head coach and with his arrival fortunes changed as Stars went unbeaten in their next three games securing stellar wins against Ghana and Ethiopia.
The Federation has as well gone on to promote football at the grass roots level through its coaching clinics that have seen more than 100 trainers get their credentials with quite a number of them going on to be certified by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), more than a thousand others have had basic and advanced level coaching.
The year also saw growth in youth and women’s football.
For the first time ever, FKF issued grants to all 16 teams in the Women Premier League (WPL) so as to help in the day to day running of the clubs with each club receiving Kshs. 750,000.
Youth football had also been tossed by the wayside but in 2018 it received the necessary attention with vibrant U13/15 youth leagues helping to nurture talent for the national youth teams.