If the government fails to provide funding for football programmes in the next seven days, then Harambee Stars’ return to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in March will be disastrous, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has warned.
Speaking to Nation Sport on his concerns for the New Year, Mwendwa said his federation needs $2 million (Sh200 million) to launch any meaningful build-up to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals for Harambee Stars.
He wants the National Sports Fund up and running, considering the Ministry of Sports and Heritage doesn’t have enough financial muscle to satisfy all national sports federations.
Besides Harambee Stars’ return to the Afcon finals, Kenya’s Under-23 team is still in the running for qualification to next year’s Tokyo Olympics with a match against Sudan the next hurdle.
The national women’s team will also compete in a newly-introduced Africa Nations League.
“We need at least $2 million to prepare for Afcon, which will include friendly matches, training camp and travel to the competition venue if we wish to realize our dream of going past the group stage,” Mwendwa said.
“The National Sports Fund didn’t take off in 2018 but it must take off now. The fund’s board must meet in this first week of January and start giving out money to federations.”
Nation Sport reached out to ministry officials to respond to Mwendwa’s concerns, but Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia, who promised to call back as he was at a funeral, hadn’t reverted by press time.
Mwendwa noted that his federation currently has a debt of over Sh54 million accruing from, among others, the national women’s team’s abortive Afcon campaign and unpaid salaries for coaches and officials.
He noted that members of the national women’s team are owed allowances of Sh80,000 each and that the federation is yet to pay Utalii Hotel Sh7 million for the team’s accommodation ahead of the abortive outing to the continental tournament in Ghana.
Having already been assured of a ticket to the eight-nation Ghana tournament, Kenya was again withdrawn with the Confederation of African Football throwing out an appeal by FKF against Guinea Bissau for fielding an ineligible player.
“The government needs to tell us what budget they have and how much will be released each quarter so that we know whether to lower of increase our expectations.
“With steady funding, we can also be able to set minimum rates for payments of players by Premier League clubs and compel these clubs to maintain these payment standards.
“Without financing from the government, then we should forget any dreams of Harambee Stars qualifying for the 2022 Fifa World Cup,” he added.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
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Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
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