Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa now says the Government is to blame for not paying bonuses to the Harambee Stars team.
Mwendwa says the federation has handled its part perfectly in paying the allowances to the players after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
“You cannot give bonuses before the match and you also do not include the bonuses in the budget. But we did our part as a federation.
“The bonus was to come later and we hope the Government will give it soon. Although we also understand that the coronavirus pandemic could affect the speed in which that is done,” explained Mwendwa on Monday.
The FKF boss said the federation has been waiting for response from the Ministry of Sports.
“The money is with the Government. We were not given any of the bonuses but for the first time our players got a record of the money they were promised. We are still pushing to see whether they will be paid after the Covid-19 pandemic,” added Mwendwa.
The Government had promised to give the national team Sh10 million in bonuses, in a bid to motivate them.
The team went ahead to record a 3-2 win against Taifa Stars of Tanzania in a mouthwatering comeback match.
As a result, each player was to walk home with Sh250, 000. However, the monies have not been paid yet which has raised some uproar in the camp dimming the glow of the Stars.
The Federation had also recently blamed the Ministry of Sports for failing to honour its pledge by failing to pay the Sh10 million to the players.
“In light of the aforementioned, the federation without prejudice or malice wishes to state that the Sh10 million win bonus against Tanzania is yet to be received from the Ministry and/or paid to all players and members of the Technical bench.
“Most importantly, FKF remains cognizant and fully understands the strain the Covid -19 pandemic has had on government resources and finances, and has proactively halted engagements on the outstanding bonuses until our country is free and safe from the Covid –19 pandemic, “read a statement from FKF.
This comes as the sports personalities continue to feel the grip of the coronavirus pandemic as they remain hopeful that the Government will do something for them.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had recently directed the Ministry of Sports Culture and Heritage to set aside money to pay artistes in order to entertain Kenyans during the Covid-19 period. However, nothing has been forthcoming for sports personalities in the country.
“I direct the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to avail Sh100m from the Sports Fund to our artistes, actors and musicians during the period of the covid-19 pandemic so they may continue to entertain their fellow brothers and sisters through TV, radio and the internet,” said Uhuru.
This order raised a lot of jitters from stakeholders in the sporting industry who felt forgotten by the Ministry, which was supposed to champion for their rights.
“I also wish that the Government would also set aside something for our sports men and women during this pandemic. They too are suffering, and have nothing to sustain themselves, ”said Ali Hassan Kauleni, a veteran sports journalist.
This comes as Kenya’s hopes of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, is slowly turning to be a mirage.
It seems the non-payment of the former Harambee Stars coach Adelle Amrouche is coming back to bite the country.
According to Mwendwa, it seems Kenya’s goose is already cooked unless otherwise, barely a day to the deadline of the 30-day extension by the FIFA disciplinary committee.
“We have written to FIFA again that because of the coronavirus pandemic, we might not be able to pay the money on time. We have asked them to give us more time although they had given us up to the 24th April this year.
But we think FIFA might not listen to us because we perhaps may not be able to pay the coach the Sh109 million now. So we are just preparing Kenyans that we might not be participating in the qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Mwendwa.
The country had been given time from October last year to settle the debt. But that only opened doors for protracted court battles that ended in tears for Kenya after the embattled coach won at last.
However, the FKF chief has reiterated that Kenyans will continue participating in other competitions such as the Youth under 17, Under 20, AFCON and other activities except the World cup qualifiers 2022.
This comes after FIFA Disciplinary department, in a letter dated March 23, 2020 extended Kenya’s period to pay the dues to the Algerian born Coach.
“The debtor (FKF) is directed to notify the secretariat to the Disciplinary Committee Federation of every payment made and to provide the relevant proof of payment,” said Yeboah Amin, who is FIFA’s Chairman of Disciplinary Committee.