Major sports federations have been at loggerheads with the Ministry of Sports over funding.
The federations, including Athletics Kenya, Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), have even threatened to hold demonstrations to protest against the government’s poor handling of national teams, which has affected their performance in international matches.
In fact, the federations have taken the battle to Parliament, where they tabled their grievances before the departmental committee on sports.
The government has in the past pumped millions of cash into these federations, yet the money never benefitted the players.
For instance, FKF was given more than Sh250 million for Harambee Stars’ preparations and participation at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in July but part of the cash was embezzled.
The push and pull between sports federations and the ministry is not good for teams preparing for various disciplines ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
That said, however, other fringe sports federations need recognition, attention and funding from the government too.
The small federations have been left to struggle to raise funds for their national teams. For example, the national women’s team has just won the Roll Ball World Cup in Chennai, India, with the men’s team settling for silver; the national skating team, which had only four representatives, claimed bronze in the recently concluded Africa Championships in Kinshasa, losing to Benin and DR Congo, and the men and women’s shooting teams are currently in Algeria trying to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics without any government support.
It is unfair for the Ministry of Sports to support teams selectively. In line with the Sports Act, the ministry has a duty to fund all teams going out there to do national duty.
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