Harambee Stars in Cecafa boycott threat over allowances
Members of Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars, have threatened to boycott Friday’s Group ‘B’ match of the 2015 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup against Zanzibar over unpaid allowances and winning bonuses.
Just 10 days ago, the team was in a crisis, having to endure a 22-hour flight to honour their 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Cape Verde.
And now, there is disquiet in the team’s camp in Hawassa, Ethiopia, over unpaid bonuses and allowances ahead of Friday’s crucial Group ‘B ‘match against Zanzibar.
The Stars tackle bottom-placed Zanzibar Heroes from 3.30pm at the Hawassa International Stadium, needing a win or a draw to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
The build-up to the match has been overshadowed by unrest following failure by the government to pay players bonuses.
Players are demanding unpaid allowances stretching seven days back and winning bonuses after beating Uganda Cranes 2-0 on Sunday.
Nairobi News Sport has also established that the players have also not been paid some money owed to them from their 2018 World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifier matches.
Each player is entitled to Sh5,000 a day while in camp but this amount was reduced to Sh3,000 without any explanation while the team was away in Cape Verde for the return leg match of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
After seven days in camp here, each player is owed at least Sh50,000 inclusive of winning bonuses.
In comparison, each member of Somalia’s national team is paid $200 (Sh20,000) in allowances.
LEFT WITH NOTHING
“What pains us is the fact that we are away from our families for two weeks fighting for the country yet we’ve left our families with nothing,” a player who sought anonymity said on Thursday after the team’s training session in Hawassa.
The team is without representation from the federation as FKF vice-president Robert Asembo returned to Nairobi on Tuesday.
Stars head coach Bobby Williamson would not be drawn into the matter.
“No! Ask me something else. I don’t talk about allowances.”