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COVID-19: Sports Ministry to disburse Sh50million to athletes over two months

Last updated 1 month ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi and David Okeyo

Hansel Ochieng of AFC Leopards SC is rushed to a waiting ambulance during their Kenyan Premier League match dubbed Mashemeji Derby against Gor Mahia FC at MISC Kasarani stadium on November 10, 2019. Photo/sportpicha.com

Sh20million to aid 420 KPL players

Sports CS Amb Amina leads efforts to cushion 12 vulnerable Kenyan Premier League teams among them Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

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At least 420 players from 12 vulnerable Kenyan Premier League teams are among athletes set to benefit from Sh50million COVID-19 stimulus package, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage has announced.

Each of the athletes will receive Sh10,000 per month for two months according to Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed, who also emphasised that the ministry has partnered with all active federations in the verification process to ensure the money is channelled to the right people.

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“We are going to release 10,000 per month for 30 players and 5 technical officers for 12 most vulnerable KPL clubs. This will be a total of 420 beneficiaries. The stimulus package will be for the next two months with a possibility of extension of a third month should we be able to mobilise more funds from well-wishers and our partners,” Amb. Amina said yesterday.

Save for Bandari, Posta Rangers, Tusker, Ulinzi Stars, Western Stima and KCB, 30 players and five members of the technical bench from the remaining twelve KPL clubs led by record champions Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will benefit from the fund.

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“We are also releasing the same amount of money to our most vulnerable National Team athletes in all our active Sports Federations for the same period of time. This is to enable them to continue training for upcoming global events.”

She added: “The verification is to ensure their telephone numbers and IDs are complete as well as to ensure that we are targeting the most vulnerable, those that do not have other known sources of income. We are doing this in consultation with all the Federations.

“Athletes should begin receiving their cash tomorrow (Thursday), but most of them should have the money by Friday evening.”

Asked about the criteria used to select KPL teams, Amina said: “All the current KPL clubs except those which we have determined to be financially stable and have continued to support or pay their players during this period. “We are also going to send a similar package to the football Women Premier League (WPL) players who we have established.”

The Sh50million COVID-19 stimulus package (Sh20million Corporates and Sh30m Sports, Arts and Social

Development Fund) will be rolled out from tomorrow with priority given to the most vulnerable cases.

The funding will provide a huge relief to the sportsmen and women who are struggling to deal with the partial lockdown that has turned their daily lives upside down.

The initiative comes barely a month after over 1030 players drawn from KPL and National Super League (NSL) received Sh5,000 each from leading online betting firm Betika.

Regarding the progress of the Nyayo National Stadium which has been under renovation since 2017, the CS said: “Refurbishment work at Nyayo Stadium is at an advanced stage and we expect the constructor to hand over the stadium this week.”