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SPORTS

Cecafa organisers admit to facing huge budget deficit

SPORTS By By GILBERT WANDERA and PHILIP ORWA | December 3rd 2013 | 3 min read

By GILBERT WANDERA and PHILIP ORWA

CECAFA: Organisers of this year’s Senior Challenge Cup have admitted they are facing a huge deficit in their budget six days into the tournament.

According to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Sam Nyamweya, they still need a significant amount of money to pay for accommodation,  air-ticket refunds for the participating teams and local transport providers.

Nyamweya who is the chairman of the Local Organising Committee also revealed that he has held fruitful talks with the government and remains confident they will come through soon.

“We are delighted by how the competition is going on. All the teams have exhibited a high level of professionalism and we look forward to a successful tournament.

“However, we still have a huge deficit to bridge and are asking the Government to fulfill its pledge to support us,” said Nyamweya.

Last week,  Council for East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) raised concern about the apathy by local fans towards the event and said it may affect revenues.

“The organisers did their best to publicise the contest but unfortunately the fans have let them down. The fans are the number one sponsors of major competitions.

“There is always a risk of being left with huge debts because gate collections go a long way to help defray the costs of hosting,” he added.

Musonye said apathy is perpetuated by lack of a football culture and warned this must change if Kenya wants to host major football competitions in the future.

“As it is, the situation puts into jeopardy any hopes of the country being allowed to host major tournaments because without fans, the competition becomes dull and even television stations don’t get value for airing matches live,” he said.

Giving an example of Rwanda, Tanzania and Sudan, Musonye said whenever they have hosted their tournaments in those countries, the opening matches have always been sold out with up to 30,000 fans attending the openers.

“With such a huge number of fans attending the opening match, it goes a long way to help the planners meet some of the costs,” said Musonye.

 Meanwhile, four former international footballers toured Kisumu’s Moi Stadium and gave it a clean bill of health as the contractors working on site assured the public that the stadium will be ready by Monday.

Norman Opiata, the sub-contractor engaged by Fifa contractor Sophocles Sophocleous told the FeverPitch they are now levelling the ground before compacting then spreading quarry dust.

“We will start spreading quarry dust on Tuesday and ensure that we finish the process by Wednesday.

On Thursday, we will start the process of laying the turf and finish the markings by Sunday or Monday,” said Opiata.

The contractor that was working on the levels William Bob Aluma said they are proud to announce that the process will now take fewer days because they have imported a Sh3 million levelling machine to easen the work.

Opiata said they will hand-over the stadium on Tuesday next week in a perfect state to host the Cecafa semis on Wednesday.

They will finish off the remaining part and have it ready for the official hand over in January.                                                         The quartet Peter Dawo, Lukio Agwoda, Apollo Otworo and Joseph Abiola said the stadium now meets the international status.

“The stadium meets international status and can now hold high-end matches,” said Abiola who is also a member of the Kisumu County Assembly and the officer in charge of sports in the county.

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