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Kenyan players' welfare remain Kefwa's priority - Situma

4:27 PM GMT+8 22/03/2020
Tusker FC v AFC Leopards.
The union has been criticised for its failure to champion the rights of its members but the retired footballer explains their position

Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) president James Situma has revealed their desire to continue fighting for the players' rights in the country.

Kefwa was formed in 2011 as a body to champion players welfare against poor treatment by their parent clubs. The association, though, has been criticised at times for being powerless in their efforts to defend their members, especially during the 2019/20 season.

With the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs facing financial constraints, calls have been made for Kefwa to show solidarity with the unpaid players.

Although Situma concedes there are more challenges they have encountered, he is quick to state they are doing their best to see that players' rights are respected.

“If you have so many challenges, one has to look at the root causes and come up with a structure to curb the same. If you look at the situation of the Kenyan players a lot has to be done to address their issues,” Situma told Goal.

“I am a former footballer and when I joined Kefwa's management I knew what I wanted to do for the players. Along the way, one has to get criticised and we as Kefwa, always take divergent voices positively.

“We are ready to right our wrongs and where we are right we are grateful as at the end of the day our main agenda is to see Kenyan players are respected and their voices are heard.

“Players' welfare remains our biggest agenda and we will continue pursuing the same.”

On election matter, an issue which has become emotive in the recent days, the former Mathare United, AFC Leopards and Tusker defender confirmed they are in the process of conducting it.

“We will hold elections definitely but we have to lay down plans in order to have an organised poll. We want to put all mechanisms in place and as everyone knows it takes time to build something,” explained the retired footballer.

“Even Rome was not built in a day.

“Under guidelines of Fifpro, we have to carry out elections and they also know we have not been able to organise polls.

“We are still in the restructuring process and Fifpro is much aware of the same.”

Recently, Kenya hosted the Fifpro Division Africa Conference in Nairobi on March 14, where 11 African member unions attended the seminar.

South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Morocco, Gabon, Botswana, Zambia as well as Kenya were the unions which were represented.