Broke Kenya may force soccer team to miss World Cup qualifiers

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-8 18:24:20

Just a month before Kenya plays Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier match in Nairobi, the country's football governing body, FKF, has raised a red flag saying it coffers are empty.

FKF has put the government and well wishers on notice that unless they get 2.5 million US dollars windfall, then the chances of Harambee Stars honoring their fixtures against Super Eagles, Malawi Flames and Namibia between June 5 to Sept. 6 is nil.

"The federation needs at least 125,000 dollars for the match against Nigeria, with the bulk of the funds being used for the purchase of air tickets for foreign-based players, accommodating the visiting team, player's allowances, and payments of match officials," said a statement signed by FKF Chairman Sam Nyamweya received on Wednesday.

Kenya play Nigeria on June 5 in a World Cup qualifier and then travel to Malawi one week later for the same competition. There is also another World Cup qualifier against Namibia in Nairobi on Sept. 6.

"For the match against Malawi in Blantyre on June 12, the federation will spend close to 18 million shillings (about 215,000 US dollars) on air tickets and visas and player's allowances," added Nyamweya.

On June 1, Kenya will gauge their preparedness, as they take on Ghana in international friendly to be played in Nairobi. Ghana are on their way to Ethiopia for another World Cup qualifier.

The team has also been invited to take part in the Cosafa tournament to be played in July. Kenya has been given the rights to host this year's Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) Senior Challenge Cup.

This is a tournament that brings together teams from Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.

"Hosting Namibia in September, will cost 120,000 dollars, participating in the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) tournament will take 130,000 dollars while hosting Ghana in the friendly on June 1 will cost 54,000 dollars," said Nyamweya.

Already Kenya football has a small sponsorship from Kenya Breweries Limited worth 1.4 million dollars staggered for three years. However, Nyamweya said that is a drop in the ocean and wants help from the corporate world.

"It's against this background that Kenya FA is seeking sponsorship and partnership from the government and corporates in order make Harambee Stars road to Brazil a reality," he said.

Should Kenya fail in its obligation to host or honor any of the away matches then they stand to be fined and banned by World Football Governing body, Fifa.
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