NAIROBI, Kenya, December 3- Harambee Stars players have gone on strike at the Tusker CECAFA Challenge Cup due to unpaid allowances.
The players have not been paid Sh1.2 milion shilling since they want to camp having only received Sh3000 since they went to camp.
The Kenyan players lead by team leaders James Situma and Stephen Ochola also said they would not honour their crucial tie against Uganda on Sunday before they were paid allowances for 19 days they have been with the team
“It was better for us to be told that we coming to play for nothing so that we came here knowing that we are represent our country but there is nothing in return, rather than giving us false promises every time.
It is very discouraging because we sleep in the same hotel with Ethiopia who are paid allowances every evening before they sleep and we have never received anything since we started our camp in Nairobi. It is a difficult decision to take but I think we should put things straight once and for all so that it doesn’t continue like this in future,” said Situma.
Reacting to the issue, Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye urged Kenyan football officials to solve their local problems at home and not mix local politics with regional football. He also vowed to talk to the team and promised to go out of his way and bail them out if they agreed to honour the Uganda match tomorrow.
“I can assure you that the match between Kenya and Uganda will take place. I am going to meet with the Kenyan team in the evening to express my sympathy to them and I will have to go out of my way to give them some allowance so that they remain in the competition,” said Musonye.
They are not the only team playing at the event without allowances, there are three others, but they have not threatened to boycott any match,” he added.
Mulee said they experienced the same problem in 2007 and after being eliminated from the event they never received their dues, but noted that resigning as the coach was not the solution at the moment and vowed to remain as the tactician.
“We met with Football Kenya officials Titus Kasuve and Erastus Okul on Tuesday and they promised to pay the team their dues by Thursday and they have not made their promise,” Mulee said.
Okul who is the head of delegation accused the team of using the issue as an excuse for their poor performance at the regional event.
“This is just a reason for failing to deliver. We don’t have money because the Sh500, 000 cheque donated to us by Nairobi Water had not gone through, so we gave each player Sh3, 000 and Kasuve travelled to Nairobi to get more money for the team and he can arrive either today or tomorrow,” said Okul.