Flat broke Harambee Stars temporarily bailed out by Egyptian government
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa says Harambee Stars have until 11pm on Thursday to clear their hotel bill at the Africana Hotel in Alexandria, else the team may not be allowed to check out.
The football boss has further said Stars were allowed to lodge at the facility atleast for an extra night by Egypt’s Sports Minister on Wednesday, moments after Nairobi News reported the national team was facing eviction from the hotel.
“Stars have accommodation for tonight courtesy of the Egyptian Minister for Sports Dr Ashraf Sobhy who has intervened until after the game tomorrow (Thursday). We have to pay the bills by that time (11pm Kenyan time),” said Mwendwa.
Kenya will face Egypt at the El Borg Stadium in both teams’ opening match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game from 6pm (8pm Kenyan time).
That game will end at about 10pm and Stars are expected to commence negotiating a 16 hour journey back home via Dubai, moments later.
This match was pushed to Alexandria as the country’s capital Cairo is hosting the U23 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mwendwa and FKF CEO Barry Otieno have blamed the government for failing to send the monies on time, but Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia has since rubbished these claims.
“We have asked them (FKF) to either provide account details for the hotel they are (staying) in, but they insist we send them the money in cash. They have refused to provide the details and so we’ve asked them to find a way out and then we shall reimburse them when they present the receipts,” said Kaberia.
A contingent of 33 players, including team captain Victor Wanyama, lead striker Michael Olunga and coach Francis Kimanzi, are residing at the hotel.
This development is the latest in a series of public spats between Kaberia and Mwendwa.
Mwendwa has accused Kaberia of consistently denying the national team and athletes funds but Kaberia maintains he will not release any more monies directly to FKF unless it fully accounts for the Sh244 million received to prepare Stars for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between May and July of that year.