KPL demands to know money paid for Cairo trip

Published on 27/01/2009

By Robin Toskin

Harambee Stars captain Zablon Amanaka sought to clear the air over their action in Cairo last week as Premier League clubs demanded that the appearance money be made public.

Amanaka, who was named stand-in captain for the trip to Egypt, told FeverPitch the players were caught between a hard place and a rock.

“If you raise the plight of the players you are branded an inciter. There has been a high turnover of Harambee Stars players partly because some who have spoken out on the difficult conditions in the team are omitted from it,” said the central defender.

He added: “Look at the playing equipment we had in Cairo for instance. The temperatures were freezing and we had no warm clothing. Again, I don’t remember the last time the team was bought playing boots as most of the players have had to use their own.”

Premier League clubs will demand that Football Kenya Limited (FKL) makes public its contract with the company, which brokered the Kenya-Egypt friendly match last Friday. This follows a strike by Harambee Stars players in Cairo a day after the match, demanding to be paid appearance fees.

KPL chairman Bob Munro said there was need for transparency, adding that recent media reports of players striking adversely hurt the team which clubs had spent over Sh16m to make to what it is today.

Asked whether clubs thought the value of the friendly had been understated, Munro: “I wouldn’t say so but after the strike, it is only fair to make public what FKL got for the friendly.”

FKL Chairman Mohammed Hatimy told FeverPitch in a statement that the company that brokered the deal, Sports Global Management (SGM), gave them $10,000 (Sh780,000) and that they had paid the players all their allowances.

He instead claimed the players had been incited to go on strike.

“We are investigating the matter with a view to taking disciplinary action against those who may have incited the players to take such an unsporting action,” he said.

SGM representative in Kenya, Francis Gaitho, denied suggestions it withheld Harambee Stars’ appearance fees after players staged a protest in Cairo demanding payment of appearance fees.

Gaitho said the protest created a negative impression on SGM yet they were dealing with FKL and not the players.

“Appearance fees are not mandatory. But depending on the strength of negotiation and team ranking, fees may be provided,” SGM’s Francis Gaitho told FeverPitch.

He added: “Such fees are not to be divided among players. They are sent to federations to pay for things like allowances, camping logistics, etc. Should FKL feel that they may want to share anything, it is at their discretion.” The controversy generated heat after FKL sacked coach Francis Kimanzi before the friendly. A KPL source said the decision to sack Kimanzi was made by three people in FKL.

“Other than wanting to know the worth of the friendly, clubs are also concerned over the manner in which the coach was fired as it sets bad precedence,” the source said.

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