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Sports ministry to avail funds for teams in two weeks

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Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa speaks at State House, Nairobi during the FIFA World Cup trophy tour luncheon. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28- New Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has promised that the government will avail money to national teams and sports federations within the next two weeks especially those hit by the exit of sponsors.

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Kenya Rugby Union and the Boxing Association of Kenya were hit a financial blow when sponsors Sportpesa exited due to the 35pc tax signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We are working on something as a government around the Sports Fund. We have done a supplementary budget and submitted it to Parliament and in the next two weeks we will have money to sponsor our teams,” Echesa told Capital Sport.

The government through the ministry of sports also last week financed Gor Mahia and AFC leopards’ travel to their continental assignments by purchasing air tickets and Echesa has assured that they will continue supporting Gor who continue with their continental journey.

“We negotiated contracts that did not have the bonuses however, our CEO Ronald Bukusi is away on sick leave in USA and he may have negotiated and signed contracts that included the bonus scheme because we are yet to get a full brief from him,” Omwela said. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

The Kenya Rugby Union has been severely hit with the exit of sponsors especially ahead of a busy year.

The Kenya Sevens team is taking part in the World Rugby Sevens Series and will also be part of the Commonwealth Games while the 15’s side will be taking part in the World Cup qualifiers beginning March.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia in April, Echesa has affirmed that he will stand firm to ensure that the shenanigans that surrounded Kenya’s management in the run up to the Rio Olympics in 2016 does not happen again.

“Those are our ambassadors and deserve to be treated well. You will not hear anything about mismanagement. I am committed to ensure that things are done in the right way,” The CS said.

NOCK president Major Paul Tergat (right) confers with his second vice president Waithaka Kioni. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

He is also confident that the new National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) body which came into office last year will ensure that the team is managed in the best way possible.

Echesa takes over the ministry after a trouble ridden stint under his predecessor Hassan Wario but despite the pressure to perform, he is confident he will prove all his doubters wrong and turn the ministry around.

“There’s a lot of pressure yes but I want to believe God’s time is the best. I will prove them (doubters) wrong; that I promise. I have worn these shoes before and I know how it fits and where it pinches. Watch me keenly and I will want to disapprove those who thought i can’t do it,” the ministry boss added.

Among the issues of priority to him include the completion of renovation works at the Kasarani, Nyayo and Kipchoge Keino stadia.

Echesa has also re-affirmed his promise of working with County Governments in tapping and nurturing talent with President Kenyatta having on Monday reiterated that the national government will also play a key role in the same.

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