Amputee team face off with Ministry officials
There was drama when the national amputee football team camped at the Sports ministry offices Thursday morning demand Sh6 million to enable them travel to Mexico for the Amputee Football World Cup tournament.
The group, which was set to leave Kenya Thursday evening aboard Kenya Airways, claimed that the Government had backpedaled on its promise to facilitate the team to participation in the event.
Efforts by the players and their officials to seek audience with the ministry’s Principal Secretary Richard Ekai initially failed to bear fruit after they were denied access by the security team of uniformed and ununiformed police officers.
“We have information that it is bwana PS who has called off our trip so we are here to ask him why. We will not be leaving until he explains to us. Why the Government finds it convenient to send the national football team to watch the Fifa World Cup at the cost of millions and then claims to have no funds to facilitate us to feature at a similar tournament?” team captain Ibrahim Wafula queried the security team.
Muli later exclusively shared a letter with the Nairobi News team, to which the Government had committed to cater for the air fares, allowances, insurance cover and visa fee for 12 players and 4 officials during tournament that is slated for Sinaloa in Mexico.
The communique addressed to the Mexican Embassy and signed by Caroline Kariuki reads in part:
“This is to request you to issue the team with visa to enable them to travel and to participate (at the competition), we appreciate your urgent assistance.”
On learning of Nairobi News presence, the Principal Secretary quickly changed his mind and briefly met the team. Sources intimate that the PS said he was unaware that the Government had committed to fund the team, before asking the contingent to wait at the lobby as he “looked for the money”.
The trip is estimated to cost the government some Sh6 million. The team is one of the three African representatives competing at the 24-team tournament.