Outcry over FKF Women league prize money
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has awarded THE 2020/2021 Women Premier League (WPL) winners Thika Queens Sh350,000 (about $3500) as prize money for their efforts and a number of stakeholders believe that amount is nowhere near enough.
Thika Queens, under the tutelage of coach Benta Achieng’, saw off Gatundu Sports 3-0 in the play-off final at the Agricultural Show Ground in Nakuru at the weekend to scoop a second ever league title in five years.
But the prize money, which was handed to the team in form of a dummy cheque by FKF vice-president Doris Petra has appeared to irk women football coaches in the country, some of whom are accusing the federation of not doing much to enhance the growth of women football in Kenya.
Besides the prize money, Harambee Stars forward Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Jereko, who emerged topscorer in the league, went home empty-handed despite scoring 21 goals in the competition.
“I advise our girls to play football and engage in other hustles. In the past, a number have left the game because of stress. Even coaching doesn’t pay. We are just offering our services for free,” said a WPL coach who spoke to Nairobi News off the record for fear of victimization.
“Even regional tournaments sponsored by private firms like Safaricom to grow talents offer Sh1 million. Where is the federation taking money for the growth of football? “another coach posed.
FKF vice president Doris Petra who presented the award in Nakuru agreed that the amount was nowhere near enough. She however argued it was an improved amount to the Sh250,000 ($2500) awarded to Vihiga Queens last season.
“I have consulted and been told that there was no meeting where it was agreed the winner would take the Sh1 Million prize and trophy. We don’t have money and that is what we could afford. It was only agreed that the money would be higher than Sh250,000 but not the amount some of them are quoting,” Petra told Nairobi News from Nakuru.
The official also took issue with coaches who claim that both Zone A and Zone B should be unified into one streamlined league, saying it is not possible due to financial constraints.
“It is the clubs that agreed the current Zone A and Zone B format continues. When we had league, how many walkovers were being issued? I agree we have to invest a lot to grow women football but blame games wouldn’t take us anywhere,” added Petra.
He however promised the federation would look for money to award Dogo, Thika custodian Monica Karambu and other players who excelled on the pitch.