Sam Nyamweya, the first president of Football Kenya Federation, has pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to urgently “come to the rescue of our football”.
Nyamweya, who handed over the reigns to Nick Mwendwa in February 2016, now wants the Head of State to ensure government moves “to appropriate finances from the Sports Fund to aid the Kenyan Premier League, National Super League and the Women Premier League”.
“The situation is dire. We are faced with a situation where the greatest sport in Kenya will die,” he pleads with the president in the letter dispatched to State House on the eve of the 56th Mashujaa Day.
“With no sponsors, the Kenyan Premier League is threatened with a total collapse. The league which has over 700 players and support staff have been left with no source of income…
“It is even worse that the league which apart from offering employment to thousands and entertainment for millions may have come to a halt because the clubs cannot afford the basics…”
Nyamweya’s letter comes just days after KPL clubs mooted a proposal to suspend the league and on a day that two clubs – Chemelil and Sony Sugar, failed to honour matches citing financial shortcomings.
The NSL and WPL have been facing challenges, with clubs being forced to pay referees after the Mwendwa-led FKF failed to raise monies and the same situation with KPL following a recent directive.
“As a stakeholder in football, having served as the president of the Football Kenya Federation, I know what the sports means to our youth. We need to ensure they do not lose their source of livelihood and entertainment,” concludes Nyamweya in his letter.
The Sports Fund was created through national legislation as the institution through which government would raise revenue that would go towards funding sports activities in the country, with recent reports suggesting the Fund domiciled in the National Treasury had collected more than KSh4.5 billion.