Kenyan football fraternity on Saturday morning paid tribute to former Kenya Football Federation (KFF) President Mohammed Hatimy aka Babadi who died at a Mombasa hospital.
Hatimy succumbed to COVID-19 related complications according to family sources and was among MCAs who tested positive leading to the assembly closure.
The death of the Mombasa based football administrator comes three weeks after the demise of former Confederation of African Football (Caf) match commissioner Mohammed Omar who worked closely with Hatimy at KFF.
Hatimy remains as one of the longest-serving football administrator after serving in different capacities for the 24 years he has been in active football administration.
He will be buried later today according to Muslim rites at Kikowani cemetery.
Immediate former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya said Hatimy’s extraordinary commitment and passion for football earned him universal respect and recognition.
“Although we were opponents sometimes, we agreed to swallow our pride in 2011 for a unified election to save Kenyan football from crumbling,” said Nyamweya.
“We are saddened to announce the death of Mohammed Hatimy, a long outstanding football administrator . On behalf of the football family and myself and my family I send my heartfelt condolences to the family of my friend and brother. May Allah bless his soul in eternity Amen,” said Nyamweya.
Nyamweya challenged Kenyan football fraternity to let Hatimy’s death to act as the start of reviving football in the country.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa in his tweeter account posted; Rest in peace till we meet again.
In a recent interview before his death, Hatimy who was the right hand man of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said during his leadership between 2007 and 2011, he was besieged but despite getting protection from FIFA, he had to swallow his pride to bring on board his opponents to discuss football matters, where they came to a common ground.
Hatimy who until his death was the ODM Mombasa County Chairman and a nominated member of county assembly will be remembered to have improved Kenyan football standards where Kenya was ranked 68 globally by FIFA, a record that has never been broken by his successors.
Former KFF Vice Chairman Twaha Mbarak also eulogised Hatimy as a great man and true leader who had passion for football.
“Hatimy had fought for the respect of Kenyan constitution, which he said was the supreme law and deserved to be respected by all entities,” said Mbarak adding that Hatimy dedicated his life and resources to promote football.
Kenya Football Coaches Association Chairman Ricky Solomon said Hatimy had contributed immensely in football and his contributions shall not go unnoticed.
“We send our deep condolences to the entire family and friends of the late Hatimy,” said Solomon.
Former Harambee Stars Team Manager Hussein Terry said he has lost a true friend who introduced him to football administration. ” Hatimy appointed me as the Team Manager of the national under 17 team captained by MacDonald Mariga in 2003 and since then, he had appointed me to several senior positions in football administration, ” said Terry.
Mombasa County Football Association interim Chairman Alloy Goshi said Hatimy was a leader not only in sports but also in politics and will be remembered by all for his passion for sports development in Mombasa and Kenya at large.
“Mohammed Hatimy was also philanthropic and a friend to all. His door was open to anyone ready to assist and to advice on various matters either sports, education, medication, politics etc. His vast knowledge on administration as a member of County assembly in County Government of Mombasa will be forever remembered. Hatimy never got tired and served Mombasa County diligently,” said Goshi.
“We are mourning a legend, a father figure and an icon as far as leadership is concerned. From Him Allah we have come and to Him Allah we shall return. May Almighty God shower him with endless mercy and grants him Janna,” said Goshi.