Mathare United defender James Situma has challenged football team owners to ensure their players are paid in order to raise the standards of the game in the country.
The footballer claims Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will not be as competitive as it should be as long as players are not paid their monthly salaries in due time.
"This is a very big issue [non-payment of players] and it has been there for a very long time but personally, I believe it is all about willingness by the owners and administrators of the clubs. They have to take the challenge and address them to see their players are paid," Situma told Goal.
"They must get sponsors and see their players are rewarded for their sweat and that will automatically translate into a very good performance across the league."
"The players have to be paid because that is what they do for a living just look into how former players are living, very sad indeed. They are sometimes criticized they did not save while actively playing but one cannot save what he never received," Situma added.
"If a player, for example, is paid a month's salary and in the last three months he did not receive any salary that automatically means he is servicing debts and settling bills accrued across the four months."
Situma pointed out how the poor performance of non-paid KPL players affects even Harambee Stars.
"Low-motivated players will never give you quality output and that is translated across the league and eventually into the national team because, at the end of the day, KPL teams feed the national team," he concluded.