Stand-in Harambee Stars coach John “Bobby” Ogolla has said he will not assemble any team unless he is paid in advance.
“The time has come when we will not be working for free,” he said on Tuesday.
Ogolla was appointed on a caretaker capacity by Football Kenya Limited last month following the unceremonious sacking of Francis Kimanzi and took a hastily assembled makeshift Harambee Stars outfit to Cairo where they lost 0-1 to Egypt on January 23.
The trip was better remembered for a sit in by the players demanding a share of the appearance fee even though FKL denied there was such kind of money.
Ogolla defended the players’ action saying they were only fighting for what was rightfully theirs.
“These people (football officials) are fond of cheating the players. Before I go out with the team (Harambee Stars) I have to be given my money upfront,” Ogolla said.
But FKL chairman Mohammed Hatimy said all money due to the players and the technical bench for the Cairo trip had been paid. He challenged Ogolla to state how much he was owed.
On Ogolla’s threat not to handle the team unless he was paid in advance Hatimy said: “It shows that Kenyans are more for money than for their country. They have no patriotism.”
South American opponents
The stand-in coach is expected to name his squad for the forthcoming World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers by the beginning of next month. He could name his side earlier if Kenya secure a friendly international on the Fifa calendar date of February 11.
Francis Gaitho, the local representative of France-based Fifa match agents Sports Global Management that arranged the Egypt friendly, said plans were being made to secure a match against either South American or Asian opponents.
“SGM are talking to Colombia. There is also the possibility of playing Yemen or Qatar,” Gaitho said.
Hatimy said the decision to fire Kimanzi was made by the FKL emergency committee and was not final.
“The executive committee has to meet to ratify the decision. We have had the calls of the Prime Minister, Sports Minister and Kenyans for the reinstatement of Kimanzi and we will make a decision that is best for the country,” Hatimy said.