Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has awarded THE 2020/2021 Women Premier League (WPL) winners Thika Queens Sh350,000 (about $3500) as prize money for their efforts and a number of stakeholders believe that amount is nowhere near enough.
Thika Queens, under the tutelage of coach Benta Achieng’, saw off Gatundu Sports 3-0 in the play-off final at the Agricultural Show Ground in Nakuru at the weekend to scoop a second ever league title in five years.
But the prize money, which was handed to the team in form of a dummy cheque by FKF vice-president Doris Petra has appeared to irk women football coaches in the country, some of whom are accusing the federation of not doing much to enhance the growth of women football in Kenya.
Besides the prize money, Harambee Stars forward Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Jereko, who emerged topscorer in the league, went home empty-handed despite scoring 21 goals in the competition.
“I advise our girls to play football and engage in other hustles. In the past, a number have left the game because of stress. Even coaching doesn’t pay. We are just offering our services for free,” said a WPL coach who spoke to Nairobi News off the record for fear of victimization.
“Even regional tournaments sponsored by private firms like Safaricom to grow talents offer Sh1 million. Where is the federation taking money for the growth of football? “another coach posed.
FKF vice president Doris Petra who presented the award in Nakuru agreed that the amount was nowhere near enough. She however argued it was an improved amount to the Sh250,000 ($2500) awarded to Vihiga Queens last season.
“I have consulted and been told that there was no meeting where it was agreed the winner would take the Sh1 Million prize and trophy. We don’t have money and that is what we could afford. It was only agreed that the money would be higher than Sh250,000 but not the amount some of them are quoting,” Petra told Nairobi News from Nakuru.
The official also took issue with coaches who claim that both Zone A and Zone B should be unified into one streamlined league, saying it is not possible due to financial constraints.
“It is the clubs that agreed the current Zone A and Zone B format continues. When we had league, how many walkovers were being issued? I agree we have to invest a lot to grow women football but blame games wouldn’t take us anywhere,” added Petra.
He however promised the federation would look for money to award Dogo, Thika custodian Monica Karambu and other players who excelled on the pitch.
All Set For Caf Women’s Champions League Qualifiers In Nairobi
The inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League CECAFA Qualifiers is set to take center stage on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the Nyayo National Stadium.
All of the eight clubs that had confirmed participation in the CAF Women Champions League CECAFA Qualifiers have checked into the capital, Nairobi, save for Zanzibari outfit New Generation, who are scheduled to jet in on Saturday morning, ahead of the tournament kick-off.
The teams will battle it out for a chance to represent the region at the CAF Champions League that will be played in Egypt, later this year.
In a press briefing held today at the Nyayo National Stadium, CECAFA Executive Director Auka Gacheo noted how the tournament will offer an opportunity to women teams, allowing them to play at the highest level.
“This tournament is the next level for the women’s game in the CECAFA region. It will provide our teams with the opportunity to play at the highest level of continental club competition available in Africa, which is the CAF Women’s Champions League,” said Mr. Gacheo.
Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairperson and FKF Deputy President Doris Petra echoed Mr. Gacheo’s words saying this opportunity will help raise the profile of the women’s game in the region.
“This will help raise the profile of the women’s game, attract more players, fans and lead to the creation of more clubs,” Mrs. Petra.
The matches are set to be played at the MISC Kasarani and the Nyayo National Stadium, in Nairobi.
Wanyama Seals Montreal Win In Stoppage Time
Victor Wanyama squeezed home a late penalty to aid CF Montreal to pick up a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls at Saputo Stadium on Saturday night.
The match was filled with drama at the end when Carlos Miguel Coronel saved two penalties in stoppage time.
But then, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) offered Montreal the chance to take the same penalty three times as the Brazilian keeper was deemed to have stepped off his line before the ball was kicked.
Mason Toye had the first two penalties saved before the opportunity was shifted to the Harambee Stars captain.
Wanyama, making a return after sitting out of the previous match owing to suspension, took the third attempt and beat Coronel in the 98th minute to aid his side snap a five-match winless run.
A penalty was taken three times at CF Montreal vs New York Red Bulls with the match 1-1 in added time.
1st Saved. VAR rules encroachment
2nd Saved. VAR rules encroachment
3rd Victor Wanyama steps up and scores
FT CF Montreal 2-1 New York Red Bulls pic.twitter.com/RwHjQqt1wv
— ⚽🖤💛🔴⚪⚫ (@ElijahKyama) August 15, 2021
This was after Patryk Klimala had given the visitors the lead on the stroke of half-time with a penalty of his own before Nigeria’s Sunusi Ibrahim leveled the score midway through the second half.