While it is by law the role of the government to fund the Kenya national teams for international assignments, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has also been on the search for potential sponsors, to supplement what is rightfully the national teams’, FKF president Nick Mwendwa reveals.
With the FKF having financial challenges as far as funding for the senior men and women’s national teams are concerned, a debate has been on concerning the federation’s efforts in bridging the gap. In response, Mwendwa acknowledged that indeed, the federation has spoken to a number of potential partners over the same.
The financial situation has deteriorated over the past few months after three major partners pulled out and the federation was slapped with orders from the Court of Arbitration for Sports and the Labour Court to pay former coaches Adel Amrouche and Bobby Williamson for unfair dismissals.
The only key partner on board at the moment is Telecommunications giant Safaricom, who sponsor the Chapa Dimba tournament, targeting the youth. While Mwendwa revealed they are still talking to other partners, their identities and other details remained guarded.
“It is our job to look for sponsors and sponsorships for the national teams and the federation as a whole.
“We have spoken to more than 40 corporates in the last three years; we even went to our Chapa Dimba partners Safaricom for the national team but for their brand, they were happy to go to the grassroot. In terms of effort we have really put in a lot, just that for confidential reasons there are things we can’t declare,” he revealed.
However, success may still be a way off, going by his sentiments. He noted that the economic challenges the country is facing have been felt all through, including in football.
“We are dealing with corporates and there is a way they like things done but I can confirm we have made tremendous effort, though the environment has not been very friendly. We have seen companies pulling out, the sugar belt is in dire problems, the economy itself has challenges and even KRA is not meeting its collection targets,” he added.
While Mwendwa and his team grapple with the challenges, they do not have the comfort of time on their side as both the Kenya women national team, Harambee Starlets, and their male counterparts, Harambee Stars are set to play international matches early in November.