Mwendwa cries out for actualization of Sports Fund
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa decries limited funding
Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa has urged Parliament to ensure the Sports Fund is operational so as to help the federation foot a budget of almost Sh500,000,00 on national team activities. Mwendwa said the federation has a long list of financial requirements which the Ministry of Sports said it cannot guarantee to foot.
Mwendwa based his calls on the fact that they might fail to take the women’s national team for the African Cup of Nations next week due to lack of funds.
“We went to the ministry and had a meeting with them where we presented a budget of Sh43mn for the Starlets but they told us they don’t have that kind of money. Now, we might not be able to take the team to Ghana if we don’t get the money in the next two weeks,” Mwendwa lamented.
He added they still have a budget for the National Under-23 team which plays Mauritius in qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next month while the senior men’s team might also be playing against Sierra Leone, all which require a significant budget.
“We hear that there is almost Sh10bn lying idle at KRA and these are monies collected from the gaming act and the 2pc from telecom companies. 35pc of this money is supposed to come to sports and if this happens, then we will not have these problems that we are facing,” Mwendwa said.
He added; “We hear that there is a small problem in Parliament over the operation of this fund and I want to make a passionate appeal to those responsible to see to it that this Fund is available because then, we will not have problems of begging for meony.”
However, the Fund has attracted a tug of war between the Sports and Finance Ministries, with the Finance part said to be keen on taking over the Fund and put the money in a different kitty, thus denying the Sports Ministry access.
However, Parliament’s Committee on Delegated Legislation chaired by Uasin Gishu Women Rep Gladys Shollei is opposed to the move by treasury and has put up a Bill in parliament to see the Funds handed back to Sports and stop Treasury’s attempt to control the billions.
Sources intimate that the fund has close to Sh1.9bn currently. If Treasury has its way, then they will use the money in whatever ways they please, and not necessarily sports.
It is turning out to be a murky situation for control of the billions and this comes just a few weeks after Deputy President while visiting Harambee Stars vowed that the Sports Fund would be fully operational in ‘the next few weeks’ to ensure that sportsmen are not turned into begging merchants.
Just recently, the national rugby 15s team launched a paybill number to help the team travel to France for the World Cup qualification Repechage tournament after failing to land money from the ministry. The Amputee Football team was also up in arms at the ministry over funds to travel to Mexico for the Amputee World Championship.