FKF facing financial crisis ahead of crucial matches

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Thursday, August 1st 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
FKF President Nick Mwendwa briefing the media. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is once again facing a financial crisis ahead of two crucial national Harambee Stars and Harambee Starlets’ assignments.

Harambee Stars, homegrown players, are expected to lock horns with Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers return leg clash at Kasarani Stadium while Starlets are scheduled to face Malawi in a two-legged 2020 Olympics qualifier.

Starlets, who will start their Olympics campaign with an away match in Blantyre on August 25, will report back to their residential camp at Sports View Hotel next Saturday.

According to Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa, they submitted a budget of Sh19,814,982 (men’s Chan) and Sh 38,939,220 (women’s Olympics qualifiers) to the Ministry of Sports in time.

The revelations come barely four days after Harambee Stars drew 0-0 with Taifa Stars in their first leg fixture in Dar es Salaam. The winners on aggregate in Sunday’s match will tackle Sudan in the final qualifying round. Tanzania are expected to jet into the country today.

Mwendwa claims to have facilitated the national team on credit due to a delay of funds’ disbursement from the ministry.

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“We submitted our budgets long time ago, but it’s today (Wednesday) that I received a call from the Ministry informing me that they are working on our Chan budget yet the Sports Fund board sat on Tuesday. What can we do yet we have a game this weekend? This is an issue that needs to addressed, ” said Mwendwa.

“I can see a big problem in the coming few days. We are hosting Tanzania on Sunday and Starlets are coming back to camp on August 10 ahead of the Olympics qualifiers. Ethiopia wants to play our girls here at home, but we don’t have funds to facilitate the friendly match. I had promised the players to pay them all their allowances on Saturday, but I don’t know where are we going to get the money.

“We have like six home qualifying matches for women coming up, yet we have their pending AWCON allowances. The players have been in camp for two weeks but we haven’t given them a single cent. So, without these funds, what can we do?

“For your information, I used my personal money (Sh2m) and engaged creditors to facilitate the team for our first leg in Dar es Salaam. We owe the players Sh1.4m in allowances for Chan and there are a lot of expenditures to be incurred, that’s why the budget is Sh19m. We are just surviving on credit from hotels to flight tickets.”

Mwendwa defended their Sh244 million expenditure for last month’s AFCON finals in Egypt.

“Let me come clean on this, with government funding you cannot take Afcon money and use it for Chan or vice versa. We normally apply for funding based on the events,” he said.

“We can’t have Chan money from the Afcon budget and that’s why we submitted another budget. I know many people will argue, but we have already accounted for the Afcon money. The files are with the Sports Funds secretariat.  

“Why delay the monies yet we all know the Sports Fund is operational. The Ministry should tell us in advance if we will get the money or not so that we can pass the message to the players.”

When reached for comment, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia’s phones were off.

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