Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is facing a race against time to have Kenya take part in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after being slapped with a Kshs 108m bill as payment for wrongful termination of Adel Amrouche’s contract back in 2014, and the federation has indicated that it will not be contesting the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In the past week CAS directed that the Kenya FA pays Amrouche for the dismissal after he was sent packing for allegedly spitting on a referee, a claim that he would later come innocent from. CAS directed that the payment be done by end of October failure upon which the country could be barred from taking part in the World Cup qualifiers.
FKF CEO Barry Otieno, in response acknowledged that indeed the payment has to be made, and given its tight financial situation, there is hope that the government through the sports ministry can step in and help bridge the gap.
“We have written to the government for financial help because you all know our situation financially. We do not have enough partners and it is a big challenge for us to raise that amount. Amrouche has already invoiced us and we will not be appealing. We already appealed to CAS earlier and the coach was awarded, so we have no option but to pay him and put this thing behind us,” he said.
The federation’s tight financial situation is further not helped by the recent exit of partners, SportPesa, Bamba Sports and Betin, and Barry admitted the current situation they find themselves in is a case of contracts not handled well by the previous federation.
“In the past, the issue of coaches’ contracts has not been handled well and as a federation we met and decided that no coach will have a closed contract. Including the current one; we will have a two – month notice for our coaches going forward because we now have Bobby Williamson demanding Kshs 55m from us, the late Henri Michel – Kshs 45m.
“All these coaches got their contracts in the previous regime and regrettably we inherited many debts but we believe we will handle this going forward,” he added.
While they grapple with the current situation, Barry added that the federation will continue seeking partnerships to help improve the state of the game in the country.
“We have always been on the search for new partners to pump in finances to help us grow the game but the situation has not been easy for sports in Kenya, not just football. As Kenyans we all have a role to play in raising the value of football and sports in general so the sponsors too can feel the need to come in. “We are engaging all the stakeholders and we are hoping we can fill the gaps left by some of the biggest partners of Kenyan football including SportPesa, Betin and more recently Bamba Sports,” he said.