It is a shame that the national amputee football team from the just-concluded Amputee World Cup in Mexico had to stage a sit-in protest at the Sports ministry headquarters on Thursday night to to be paid their allowances amounting to Sh2 million.
The team of 15 players and four officials arrived in the country on Wednesday after putting up a good show to finish 12th out of 24 countries, in a tournament won by Angola.
The players had to sleep at the Sports ministry’s Kencom House headquarters to draw attention to their plight. They had done the same before departure three weeks ago, and it’s Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who came to their rescue and funded the trip to Mexico.
The players only ended the strike after striking a deal with the government to have their allowances paid by next week.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and his Principal Secretary Karimi Kaberia have been handling things very casually. The 2013 Sports Act is clear, and the ministry should operationalise the Sports Fund so that national teams can start receiving funds.
Amputee’s case is just one among many national teams that the government has failed to fund. The stalemate shall continue for as long as the Sports Fund is not operationalised.
It can be made active before the stakeholders and the Parliament decide whether it should remain at the Sports ministry or not.