Kenya: Kefwa Appeal to Clubs to Prioritise Players' Interests

The Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) has appealed to football clubs in the country to put first their players interest in every action that they take to remain afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to bite.

Kefwa chairman James Situma on Thursday asked clubs not to review players' contracts because of reduction in revenue generation as a result of the pandemic, but instead urged the two parties to reach an agreement on how they will be paid their wages.

The former Kenyan International's appeal comes three days after Kenyan Premier League (KPL) advised clubs to "discuss with their respective players on their contracts during this interim period that the league is currently suspended."

"The issue at hand is a natural disaster, which no one expected. Since players have running contracts, it is inappropriate for clubs to revise them because this pandemic will come to an end," said Situma.

Football clubs in the country have been struggling to generate income for a while, and the matter was made worse when all football competitions were suspended on March 16 in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19.

Because of the pandemic's negative effect on the economy, KPL side Kakamega Homeboyz has effected a 50 percent pay cut to its players. +

In the March 29 statement, Homeboyz Chief Executive Officer Benard Shitiabayi said the club reached the decision after their sponsor - the County government of Kakamega - announced that its employees would take pay cuts ranging from 10 to 30 percent depending on their job groups.

The salary cuts should last for three months.

Situma recommended that should more clubs resort to pay cuts, then it should not be more than 50 percent.

He said that the clubs should reach an agreement with their players on how they will offset the accrued arrears, when the pandemic has been contained.

"The clubs should be very sensitive in every decision that they make now. All decisions should be a mutual agreement between the player and the club," he said.

The former Tusker captain further appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion sportsmen and women, just like he did to artist and musicians, when he directed that Sh100 million be allocated to them from the Sports Fund.

"The President is like a parent and so he should consider bailing all his children. It is our humble request that players are also assisted, because they have been hit hard," he said.

In an earlier interview with NTV, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said that plans were underway to cushion players during this pandemic.

However, she did not mention the exact date when that will happen.

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