NAIROBI, Kenya, March 13- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have finally agreed to pay back AS Parma midfielder MacDonald Mariga costs claims he incurred while travelling to honour national team Harambee Stars matches.
In a copy of the letter written to Mariga and signed by FKF boss, Sam Nyamweya, the federation pledged to process the payment totalling Sh1.2m ($16,434) as soon as the midfielder can send them copies of the receipts involved.
“I have followed with deep concern recent developments that seem to create the impression that the FKF and yourself are squabbling.
“I would however, ask you to provide me ASAP, with copies of the air tickets you bought during your round trips to and from Kenya at the invitation of my federation or the previous office to enable us process your refund pronto,” part of the Nyamweya signed letter stated.
A row between the federation and Mariga erupted on the eve of Stars Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Togo in Nairobi that saw the AS Parma player quit the side and return to Italy in a huff.
The incident elicited mixed reactions that overshadowed the host’s nail biting 2-1 victory over the Sparrow Hawks with the return leg of the knock-out tie scheduled for June in Lome.
In extending the olive branch, Nyamweya stated, “We in the federation and the country at large are proud of you and hold you in high esteem. You are a role model and the youth of this country look to you as somebody to emulate.
“On behalf of the FKF, there is absolutely no reason to view you in any bad light. I have taken the bold step to send this letter to you and address the matters arising from the unfortunate misunderstanding.”
However, the federation insisted, citing world governing body FIFA regulations, that they would only refund Mariga costs relating to Economy Class travel with reports saying the player who won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010 had a preference for First Class seating in his claims.
His team mates led by captain and French Ligue 1 AJ Auxerre player, Denis Oliech, came in strong support in the aftermath of his walk out as the federation’s hard line stance threatened to polarise the squad.
During the match, a section of fans bearing placards and yelling from the stands asked Nyamweya to pay back the player who hit local news last week when his vehicle bearing personalised number plates was impounded by the Police in Nairobi.