Sport

FKF-Kaberia battles mar Harambee Stars' big match build-up

FKF-Kaberia battles mar Harambee Stars' big match build-up
  • Mwendwa has accused Kaberia of consistently denying the national team funds but Kaberia maintains he will not release any more funds directly to FKF unless it fully accounts for the Sh244 million received to prepare Stars for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
  • Nation Sport also understands the national women’s football team has yet to receive allowance for competing in the 2020 Olympics qualification matches against Zambia, Ghana and Malawi.

The public spat between Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa now appears to be affecting Harambee Stars’ preparations ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

On Wednesday evening, FKF secretary general Barry Otieno released a statement claiming that Stars were on the verge of being kicked out of the Africana hotel in Alexandria owing to what he claimed was a “delay in making payments.”

But Kaberia immediately refuted this development and instead accused FKF of being “economical with the truth.”

“We have asked them (FKF) to either provide account details for the hotel they are in, but they insist the we send them the money in cash. They have refused to provide the details and so we’ve asked them to find a way out and then we shall reimburse them when they present the receipts," said Kaberia.

Otieno though had a different version of the events, accusing Kaberia of delaying the payments.

"Since Friday, ministry officials have been promising they will settle the payment. Regrettably this has not happened. We have since been informed by the hotel that the team will be evicted and a few members of the technical team detained until payment is done."

Nation Sport has established a contingent of 33, including the team captain Victor Wanyama, lead striker Michael Olunga, and coach Francis Kimanzi, are residing at the hotel ahead of the match at the El Borg Stadium against Mo Salah’s Egypt.

This game was pushed to Alexandria as the country's capital Cairo is hosting the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

Sources in Alexandria, that spoke to Nation Sport, said about Sh4 million is required to pull Stars out of this fix.

The monies are payable for accommodation costs, local transport, training water and visa fees even though Kaberia suggests these costs might be inflated.

“It is now going too far, but we shall not relent. Government procedure is that every coin must be accounted for. We have sent a team there to check the veracity of these claims because just a few minutes ago, they’re requesting for $40,000 (about Sh4 million) yet our entire budget for that match was much lower.

This development is the latest in a series of public spats between Kaberia and Mwendwa.

Mwendwa has accused Kaberia of consistently denying the national team funds but Kaberia maintains he will not release any more funds directly to FKF unless it fully accounts for the Sh244 million received to prepare Stars for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nation Sport also understands the national women’s football team has yet to receive allowance for competing in the 2020 Olympics qualification matches against Zambia, Ghana and Malawi.