By Kenya Confidential Sports Desk, Nairobi – May 28, 2020
Former soccer boss urges the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to hasten investigations into FKF financial misappropriations during Nick Mwendwa management
Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya, has sent a passionate appeal to the Ministry of Sports to move in speed and support the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs financially to buttress footballers and soccer managers from Coronavirus economic slump.
Nyamweya, who has declared interest in the FKF presidency to streamline the sport run down by current leadership, holds the view that the only way to help the clubs cope with COVID-19 challenge, is for the government to come in and support them financially.
He added that direct support to the clubs will avoid further financial misappropriation and players neglect by the parent body Football Kenya Federation currently under investigations over allegations of millions of shillings in public funds that cannot be accounted for.
“I appeal to the Ministry of Sports to cushion the premier clubs financially by giving them grants from the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund, as a stop-gap support,” Nyamweya told Kenya Confidential Sports Desk.
The threat of the Premier Clubs folding up is is real with both economic and social negative effects which will result in hundreds of players being rendered jobless, dozens of technical and support staff jobless. Also to be affected are thousands football fans denied the opportunity to watch their favourite teams in action when Coronavirus is over.”
Nyamweya says despite the country’s economy slowing down sharply because of Coronavirus, sports industry must be supported.
The former soccer boss urged the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to hasten investigations into FKF financial misappropriations during Nick Mwendwa management and take appropriate action in order to calm the anxiety facing the federation.
“Once the investigations are over and necessary action taken, the federation will start on a clean slate and forge ahead in a transparent, professional and accountable management,” said the aspiring candidate.
In recent weeks, all football organised activities have been suspended indefinitely due to the Coronavirus outbreak leaving football players severely affected financially, physically and psychologically.
Locally, Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards have been struggling to pay players due to lack of sponsors and the pandemic might just worsen the situation.
Kakamega Homeboyz chairman, Cleophas Shimanyula recently said that his players will have to make do with salary reductions; due to the fact that his businesses are suffering, hence he cannot pay them with ease like it has been the norm.
Nick Mwendwa: Under investigation over funds misappropriation
The women clubs have not been spared either, three-time Women’s Premier League (WPL) champions, Vihiga Queens despite not having been paid for the last six months, may continue going without pay during this unprecedented period.
Outside the pitch, this is the club that every player in the WPL would wish to play for, not just because of their ability to clinch titles with ease, but because it is the only team in the league with proper contracts and sponsorship from the County government.
This can only mean that players from other community clubs have hit rock bottom, if at all they have been reliant on the training and game allowances to make ends meet, without other sources of income.
During this time, a player without a second career, a business or a learnt skill is going through a rough patch. In as much as it is not all gloom since some clubs like Ulinzi Starlets have gone an extra mile to ensure that players are employed in the disciplined forces, while others like Oserian Ladies work in the mother flower company, the sad reality is that majority of these players have no back up plans or savings to cushion them at least until life goes back to normal. The flower industry has been hard hit.
In the future, clubs need to make a deliberate effort of organising economic empowerment and livelihood trainings for the players like it happened at National Super League (NSL) side Talanta FC, while also encouraging them to enroll for online courses just so they are prepared for life after football.
Transparent, Professional and Accountable soccer.
Sam Nyamweya says he intends to capture the FKF Presidency to redeem the federation from gross mismanagement that has left the soccer organisation as a miserable pale shadow in recent years. His success formula will be a Transparent, Professional and Accountable (TPA) football management.