After an agonizing six-year wait, the champions of the unsanctioned Extreme Super 8 league have finally been awarded their prizes, However, the timing of this long-overdue prize distribution has raised eyebrows, as it aligns with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections, in which Super 8 league founder Hussein Mohammed is rumored to be an aspirant.
Melta Kabiria emerged victorious in the last edition of the Super 8 league, with Leads United claiming the division one title. Deportivo of Ongata Rongai secured the first runners-up position. Nevertheless, questions linger regarding the coincidence of these awards with the FKF election season and the significant reduction in the cash prizes awarded to the winning teams compared to the initial promises.
In the Super 8 Premier League, Melta Kabiria claimed the top honors, with Githurai All Stars as the first runners-up and Technical University of Kenya (TUK) as the second runners-up. In the Division one category, Leads United secured the top position, while Deportivo of Ongata Rongai and Kisa All Stars took home the first and second runners-up prizes, respectively.
The Extreme Super 8 tournament, established by Hussein Mohammed in 2003, has been a sporadic event, often brought to life when political interests are at play. The timing of this prize distribution has raised concerns about the well-being of the participating teams.
Hussein initially promised guidance on investments to the clubs, but several teams who participated and won in the past editions have disintegrated over the years, leading to doubts about whether he genuinely had the clubs’ interests at heart or was merely using the tournament for political purposes. Former Deportivo FC player Derrick Omondi criticized Hussein’s pattern of organizing tournaments for electoral gains and then abandoning them when his political ambitions falter. Omondi highlighted that the delayed awards could lead to confusion among former players and current team management.
Critics point out that Hussein has a history of using tournaments as a platform for his political ambitions. He organized the Super 8 before running for the Kasarani MP seat and later the FKF presidency. After facing defeat, he shelved the tournament’s organization. This recent awarding, while a positive step, may further disrupt teams, as players who won in the past have moved on to other levels, and some teams have folded might come back to the clubs demanding money.
Hussein decided to award the past winners after media scrutiny and public pressure, as questions mounted about his intent to revive the tournament without recognizing past champions who had waited for years. His decision to reintroduce the tournament, combined with his renewed interest in FKF elections, has drawn criticism from stakeholders who believe that his approach contributes to the demise of Nairobi-based teams and further instability in the local football scene.
Hussein Mohammed’s close supporters include Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie and Principal Secretary Jonathan Mueke. Critics argue that their association with Hussein raises concerns about his character and motives. Mueke, in particular, has faced criticism for his lack of support for sports during his tenure as Nairobi’s deputy governor.
Hussein hinted at the league’s return in 2024, with potential partners expressing willingness to support grassroots football. This move is seen as an attempt to dispel speculation that his revival of the tournament is solely motivated by his FKF election candidacy. However, many in Kenya’s football circles view Hussein as a vengeful and bitter figure who operates with threats and animosity towards those who oppose or question his actions.
As Hussein Mohammed’s intentions and political ambitions continue to generate controversy, the Kenyan football community are asking questions over the true motivations behind the revival of the unsanctioned Super 8 league.