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Africa Women Cup of Nations

FKF now contemplate pulling out Harambee Starlets from Awcon finals

8:26 PM SGT 2/11/18
Harambee Starlets U-20.
The Ministry of Sports says they have no money to meet the Sh43 million budget presented to it by Football Kenya Federation

Football Kenya Federation will withdraw Harambee Starlets from Awcon finals if they don’t get funds to support the team by next Wednesday.

Goal now understands that efforts by FKF President Nick Mwendwa to secure funds for the same have been hampered as a result of the back and forth between government ministries and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Delegated Legislation over control of the National Sports Fund.

The Ministry of Sports says they have no money to meet the Sh43 million budget presented to it by Football Kenya Federation to facilitate the team’s participation in the tournament set for Ghana. Ironically, there is Sh12 billion held up in the Sports Fund that cannot be accessed as the Committee on Delegated Legislation is dragging its feet in allowing the Fund to operate.

A source in the federation has told Goal that they will now make a final decision on whether the women’s team will play in the tournament next Wednesday. “It is very unfortunate that we are yet to secure funds for the team to prepare for the tournament and we only have about two weeks to the tournament.

“We are looking at several options that we can take but the most obvious one is to pull out the team from the tournament.”

Apart from the women’s team, the federation is also seeking for Sh23million to fund preparations for the national U-23 team, who are preparing for the Olympic Games qualifiers and Sh18m for Harambee Stars, who will host Sierra Leone in the decisive Afcon qualifier.

“In total, the federation needs Sh83million to make sure that the three teams are fully prepared to take part in the various tournaments. We have to pay tickets for the foreign players to start arriving for the Sierra Leone match and the booking needs to start by next week but we don’t have funds.

“Even though Fifa are yet to give a directive on the Sierra Leone match, we must have our players in camp for any eventualities. We also have two teams Uganda and Ghana coming for friendly matches, with the Starlets, all this needs money.”

The National Sports Fund was meant to facilitate sports activities around the country for the purpose of enhancing competitiveness among sports men and women but that has not been realised after the Treasury proposed the Sports (Amendment) Bill contained in the Finance Act 2018.

Starlets, who are pooled in Group B alongside Zambia, South Africa and Nigeria, are scheduled to face Zambia on November 18 in their opening match hoping to do better than they did two years ago in Cameroon.