Wanyama: FKF officials wanted big share of Sh50m after Afcon qualification

Wednesday May 20 2020
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has lifted the lid on behind-the-scenes intrigues the team went through in trying to share the Sh50 million bonus promised by Deputy President William Ruto as reward to the players for qualifying for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

According to the 28-year-old midfielder who is based at Canadian football club Montreal Impact, unnamed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) officials demanded what was perceived by the players and technical bench as a bigger share of this amount.

In a wide-ranging interview with sports and entertainment channel Madgoat TV on Monday, the usually calm Wanyama also explained how he had to personally plead with FKF president Nick Mwendwa to treat his teammates Brian 'Niang' Mandela and Philemon 'Mbish' Otieno, both of whom got injured while on national team duty.

Wanyama also said Sports CS Amina Mohamed promised to pay each player Sh250,000 bonus after the team beat Tanzania at the continental showpiece played in Egypt last June. This has not happened. The Sports Ministry and the federation have disagreed on who should pick up that bill.

Wanyama also suggested that the players were intending to stage a go-slow during 2021 Afcon qualification match against Comoros in March over unpaid allowances. The game was postponed owing to coronavirus pandemic.

"I have never understood why there always has to be a problem when we (Kenyans) are sharing money. So we had a meeting. FKF (officials) wanted to take a whole Sh15 million and leave us (players and coaches) to share Sh35 million. The coach (Sebastian Migne) refused. I also refused," explained Wanyama.

"We worked hard to qualify and each player who played a part in the success, even those on the bench, or others that only played one game, had to be rewarded.

"There are some players that wanted everything. I asked for Sh45 million. FKF said the money was to be used for administrative purposes. After long discussions, I involved my teammates and agreed to receive Sh38 million. FKF received the rest."

From this amount, Stars players received between Sh250,000 and Sh1 million each, depending on one's contribution in helping the team qualify for Afcon.

Wanyama also shed light on how players injured while on national team duty have struggled to receive treatment.

"Niang (Mandela) was injured in France when we were preparing for Afcon. FKF officials wanted to send him home. I refused. I told them we had the money and he could get better surgery and treatment in France. I even offered to pay for the bill to treat him and take him to Egypt with the team. He would stay in my room. That is when the federation decided to treat him."

Gor Mahia defender Otieno was also injured while turning out for Stars in 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualification game against Tanzania. Mwendwa insisted the federation did not have money to treat him.