Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed on Friday said the government had approved the Sh244 million budget submitted by Football Kenya Federation for preparing the national team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, the CS fell short of explaining whether Harambee Stars players will get the Sh50 million promised to the team by Deputy President William Ruto during the Cup of nations qualifiers last year.
Ruto told Harambee Stars players at Kasarani that the government would give the team a Sh50 million token should they end their 15-year wait for a return to the continental showpiece. Stars beat Ghana 1-0, drew 0-0 with Ethiopia before thumping the Walya Antelopes 3-0 at Kasarani to seal a ticket to the 2019 tournament set to be held in Egypt from June 21-July 19.
Speaking at the ministry's headquarters on Friday where she issued a cheque of Sh250 million to organisers of the Kenya Open Golf tournament as sponsorship from government, Amina said the Sh50 million had now been included in the Sh244 million budget submitted by FKF for preparing the team ahead of the biennial showdown.
Speaking at the same function, New Sports and Social Development Fund chairman Jackson Tuwei said the money will be given out as part of the Sh244 million budget that was tabled by FKF.
“We have discussed the issue and have resolved to give the Stars their money as part of the budget tabled forward by FKF. We have given them Sh244 million and that money has already been wired to their accounts,” Tuwei said.
“We have also discussed the issue of the Sh50 million and resolved to give the Stars that amount as part of the Sh244 million budget,” Tuwei added.
But in a quick rejoinder, FKF president Nick Mwendwa said that he is yet to receive any funds from ministry, and that he is in a tight spot financially as the national team players are reporting for duty this Sunday.
“I have not received a coin either from the ministry or from the Sports Fund and neither have I received the transfer documents. They had promised to do so by today morning but that has not yet been done. And if that situation persists until next week then we shall have a problem because we shall be having the senior team as well as the U23 team in camp and that requires money," said Mwendwa.
“I had promised my players that they will receive their share of the Sh50 million the moment they report to camp and I will have to do that promptly regardless of whether that amount has been set aside or not,” he said, adding that the players will receive Sh35 million while the remaining Sh15 million will go to the federation's kitty.