NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The ministry of sports has surprisingly included Deputy President William Ruto’s Sh50mn African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification promise to Harambee Stars in the team’s final approved budget for the preparation of the biennial championship.
The Deputy President made a promise to the team that qualification to the 2019 showpiece will attract a hefty reward from the government but now, it appears the ministry has included this as part of the Sh244mn approved budget for the team towards the biennial championship.
This promise was made on December 19, 2017 when Ruto hosted the team at his official residence in Karen after their triumph in the CECAFA Senior Challenge trophy held here at home where he also rewarded the team with Sh5mn.
According to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa the amount will be deducted from the entire approved budget which they hope to get by end of week.
“We had forwarded a budget estimate of Sh244mn for AFCON beginning from the Ghana game to the tournament in Egypt. We also had a separate budget for the team that plays in the Olympic qualifiers but the ministry through the Principle Secretary told us that in football, all we are getting is the Sh244mn until July 1,” Mwendwa said.
He added the Federation will keep its promise of giving the team 70pc of the Sh50mn to divide among themselves while the federation keeps the remaining 30pc to aid in preparations. With this, the players are set to receive Sh35mn to divide amongst themselves.
“We had a deal with the players and we will stick to it. Once they come in to camp next week we will give them the money hoping it comes into our accounts early and they will divide it among themselves,” Mwendwa noted.
This means that the team will now have a sum total of Sh209mn to facilitate all their plans for AFCON 2019 including the final qualifier against Ghana and the intended three-week training camp in France as well as the final tournament in Egypt.
The federation however received a Sh20mn boost from betting firm Betin of which Sh15mn will go towards the preparation kitty. FKF boss Mwendwa also noted they are set to unveil two more partners by next week to boost their finances.
“We want to give the coach and the team everything they ask for. This money will go into preparations of the team as well as settling bills from last season including Starlets’ unpaid allowances. The team will camp at Safari Park this time and so will the Under-23 Olympics team,” Mwendwa explained.
“It is expensive to undertake all these things and that is why we want to bring on board more sponsors. The camp in France is expensive, we will play two or three friendly games there and it is also expensive to have them,” he further stated.
At the same time, the FKF boss has estimated a cash reward of Sh7mn for the team for any win they pick in Egypt and if, against all odds they go all the way and lift the title, then the team will earn a whooping Sh120mn reward.
“That is what the coach has proposed and that is what other teams do. We have tried to negotiate a bit with the players but that is just about the estimate of what they will earn with one win. This money is not in the Sh244mn budget and that is why we need more partners on board,” Mwendwa noted.
According to plans, the team is set to travel to France on May 15 for the training camp at a location selected by the coach in Paris.